Interesting, if true (via the Independent):
Police investigating computer hacking by private investigators commissioned by national newspapers have uncovered evidence that emails sent and received by Gordon Brown during his time as Chancellor were illegally accessed.
Mr Brown’s private communications, along with emails belonging to a former Labour adviser and lobbyist, Derek Draper, have been identified by Scotland Yard’s Operation Tuleta team as potentially hacked material. They are currently looking at evidence from around 20 computers which hold data revealing that hundreds of individuals may have had their private emails hacked.
The links discovered from the seized computers suggest that the email investigation could involve as many victims as those involved in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
The eight-strong Tuleta team is looking at the possibility that several Fleet Street titles commissioned specialist private detectives to access computers. News International said yesterday that NI has “no alleged link” to Gordon Brown and Derek Draper.
A source with knowledge of the contents of some of the computers seized from private investigators told The Independent that analysis of a portion of the hundreds of thousands of messages found on the machines showed that Mr Brown and Mr Draper were targeted while the former prime minister was Chancellor of the Exchequer. The period includes potentially sensitive episodes in the difficult relationship between Mr Brown and Tony Blair.
One of Mr Brown’s former cabinet colleagues, Peter Hain, has confirmed that he held discussions with police officers investigating the potential hacking of his computers during the period when he was Northern Ireland Secretary.
The period discussed with Mr Hain, from 2005 to 2007, overlaps with the period Operation Tuleta are looking at in connection with the Brown-Draper emails. Scotland Yard last night declined to discuss its inquiry into the electronic eavesdropping. A spokesman said: “We are not prepared to give a running commentary on an ongoing investigation.”
NI’s chief executive, Tom Mockridge, said his company had been advised that Mr Hain’s computer equipment “was not and has not been the subject of an investigation by Operation Tuleta” and that there was “no belief or suspicion that this equipment was hacked”.