Met obtained phone records of Sun political editor without consent

Lisa O’Carroll reports in the Guardian that Police investigating the Plebgate saga obtained the telephone records of Tom Newton Dunn, the political editor of the Sun without his consent, despite laws which entitle journalists to keep their sources confidential.

The Sun confirmed that neither Newton Dunn nor the paper knew anything about the intervention of the police.

It appears that the Metropolitan Police used powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) which circumvents a different law under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (Pace) that requires police to go to a judge to get disclosure of journalistic material. The Metropolitan Police have refused to disclose how many other times they have used these powers to secretly access journalists phone records.

The incident raises concerns about the threat such activities present to journalistic privilege, confidentiality of sources and the protection of whistle-blowers.

Naked Photos of Celebrities Leaked after ICloud Hack

James Vincent reports in the Independent on concerns about the security of cloud storage after claims that hundreds of naked photographs of celebrities have been leaked following an apparent hack of Apple’s iCloud service.  One celebrity, Jennifer Lawrence, has confirmed that the photographs of her are genuine.

If active on an Apple device iCloud automatically stores photographs, e-mails and other information online allowing it to be accessed from any internet-connected computer.

It is not yet confirmed if iCloud was the source, although metadata contained in the image files confirms that the vast majority of of photographs were taken using Apples devices.  How the hack was undertaken is also not clear, although the article quotes security experts suggesting either a recently released iCloud hacking program, or an employee accessing the accounts and creating a “private stash”  that was subsequently hacked by another individual.

US Hospital group loses patient data in cyber attack

Reuters reports that Community Health Systems Inc., one of the largest providers of Health Care in the US, have been victims of a cyber attack in April and June of this year resulting in the loss of personal data belonging to 4.5 million patients.

The cyber attack is believed to have originated from China and involved a hacking group called “APT18” which is believed to have links to the Chinese government.

Police want right to see medical records without consent

Vikram Dodd writes in the Guardian that Sir Peter Fahy the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester has said that the Police want new and expanded rights to access medical records and other confidential data without an individual’s consent.

Fahy said that the enhanced access to sensitive data was needed to help Police cope with growing numbers of vulnerable people, such as the elderly, people with dementia, those with drug and alcohol problems and those with mental health problems.   Most controversially though, he said medical professionals should share information about women suffering from domestic abuse, even against the victim’s wishes.