The number of possible phone hacking victims is now close to 5,800, the Met police have confirmed.
This is 2,000 more than previously stated by the force.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said:
It is not possible to give a precise figure about the number of people whose phones have actually been hacked but we can confirm that as of today’s date, 3 November 2011, the current number of potentially identifiable persons who appear in the material, and who may therefore be victims, where names are noted, is 5,795. This figure is very likely to be revised in the future as a result of further analysis.
“Vigilantes managed to get around the identity ban in the early weeks of their conviction by naming them on websites (…) But Scotland Yard’s e-crime unit worked with internet service providers to remove most of the content from cyberspace.”
The conditions of the reporting ban aside it’s an interesting series of events – banned, leaked, removed, reported in the ‘traditional’ press – a cycle under increasing pressure from the online world.
An ‘On The Media’ discussion in association with the BBC College of Journalism
How concerned should photographers and journalists be about anti-terrorism legislation that came into force earlier this year making people taking pictures of the police potentially subject to fines or even arrest? A mass picture-taking event outside Scotland Yard organised by the National Union of Journalists earlier this year reflected widespread concerns that section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act would extend powers already being used to harass photographers.
Under the Act eliciting, publishing or communicating information on members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’ is subject to a 10 year maximum sentence.
The Home Office has insisted that the Act does not target the press but the number of photographers and camera crews who claim they have been prevented from taking pictures has increased.
On the other side of the lens there is growing evidence that Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) are not only collating information on protestors and campaigners but also photographers and journalists who report on demonstrations.
The emergence of video footage following the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in April demonstrates how significant images can be.
Claims by Val Swain and Emily Apple that they were unlawfully arrested during the Kingsnorth Climate Camp has again put the spotlight on theissue of police surveillance at demonstrations. And also raises questions about the status of citizen journalists in the eyes of the police.
How much of a challenge to the freedom of the press photographers, freelances of citizen journalists – to bear witness during protests could Section 76 become?
Panel: Peter Clarke, former head of counter terrorism for Scotland Yard
Marc Vallée is a London based photojournalist who is currently working on a long-term project to document political protest and dissent in modern Britain
Turi Munthe, CEO of Demotix, a citizen-journalism website and freelance photo agency
Angus Walker, UK editor, ITV News
Moderator: Margaret Gilmore is a freelance writer and broadcaster and senior research fellow with the leading independent think tank, RUSI, where she specialises in homeland security, covering terrorism and Olympic security