Hacking by journalists unacceptable

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 August, 2011, 12:00am


Recently, it was revealed that reporters working for the British tabloid The News of the World had hacked into the phone of a young murder victim.

Such practices are malicious and cannot be tolerated. The reporters' conduct made the girl's parents feel bad. It also violated their rights. In some cases, such hacking can endanger people's lives.

I think the government should set up rules on how reporters may obtain information. They should certainly not permit reporters to hack into other people's phones or computers.

The police should conduct a full investigation, and the wrongdoers should be brought to justice.

We need to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Michael Ng Ho-man, Po Leung Kuk No 1 WH Cheung College

From the editor

Thank you for your letter, Michael. What went on at News of the World has shamed journalists all over the world. Of course they are not permitted to do such a thing and that is why it is such a big scandal.

Also the fact that it seems they were able to bribe policemen and worked very closely with politicians would point to there being a lot more wrong than just a few rogue journalists.

Being a reporter is a position of trust and honour. They are the people who stand between wrongdoers and the public. Violating a private citizen's rights to privacy is terrible, but we also need to make sure that reporters are able to carry out real investigative reporting when needed.

Some stories in some countries might require the reporter to get to private information, for instance if the minister of defence is taking bribes from a contractor, a reporter might need to get into his personal computer to find evidence.

It certainly is a thorny issue and well worthy of debate.

Susan, Editor