Former PM Gordon Brown emails hacked by British newspapers

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Gordon Brown

Image: World Economic Forum/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The phone hacking scandal appears to be widening to an overall hacking scandal with revelations by a British newspaper that emails of the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown were illegally accessed by “private investigators commissioned by national newspapers”.

The Independent in the UK claims that Brown’s private communications were identified by Scotland Yard as “potentially hacked material”, and are currently looking at evidence from around 20 computers.

The paper also claims that the computers also hold evidence that reveal “hundreds of individuals” may have also had their emails hacked.

According to the paper:

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 [Derek] Draper [former Labour adviser and lobbyist] 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.

While the operation – Operation Tuleta – was opened due to reports of computer hacking related to the News International phone hacking scandal, there have not been any alleged links made to the paper. However, Brown has made allegations before against News International for accessing private details illegally – including his bank accounts.

Draper’s emails were leaked before, published in 2008 and 2009. Those emails revealed internal crises in the Labour Party over Gordon Brown and their plans of smearing the then-Opposition Leader David Cameron and then-Shadow Chancellor George Osborne.

However, there have not been any allegations that those leaks were acquired through illegal hacking techniques.

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