The ongoing News of The World scandal (each day brings fresh headlines of outrageous intrusions and spying) has caused an explosion of indignation and outrage from those spied on (quite rightly so) and the "establishment".
Unsurprisingly, there are calls for news laws to champion privacy and to stop the media from getting up to this sort of nonsense ever again.
However, before an angry mob lights their torches and marches towards the News of The World's HQ with the intention of administering "justice", let us step back and consider what has happened here and what might happen if new laws are hastily rushed through.
Innocent families have had their lives turned upside down by unscrupulous tabloid journalists and paid lackeys in the world of private detection.
However, the purpose of these actions was to harvest data and information used in news stories.
Who buys these papers to read these stories?
Errmm..that would be the British public.
The monster of intrusive and sick journalism has been of our own creation.
Moving on to the methods used by these media organs, aside from using private detectives who else helped them?
Errrmm..that would be the police, who have been receiving kickbacks for tips offs and passing on details etc.
Ever wondered how it was that the media got hold of the details of Chris Jefferies (the innocent man arrested by police, because he had "funny" hair, in the Joanna Yeates murder case)?
Is it not "odd" that the police have had (apparently for several years now) details of these hacking attempts, yet only now are they conducting a "proactive" investigation?
There is something seriously wrong with our police, and it needs to be sorted out now.
Moving on to the politicians who are screaming for blood and strict privacy laws.
Errmm..who is it who would have most to gain if their corrupt business practices and hypocritical sex lives were kept hidden?
What the News of The World (and other media organisations) have done (and continue to do) is without doubt repellent. These people should crawl under a stone and shrivel up and die.
However, do not forget they have done this because there is a demand to read trash, and because the police and others have happily been helping them and allowing them to get away with it.
Sadly the media are but a reflection and creation of our own personal hypocrisies.
That being said, be careful of siren calls for strict and hastily drafted new privacy laws; our "respected" and corrupt politicians have much to gain by this and we, as a democracy, have everything to lose.
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