The News of the World newspaper illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002.
Journalists listened to her voicemail messages, then deleted them.
As a result, friends and relatives of Milly wrongly concluded that she might still be alive and checking her messages.
According to David Cameron, “This is a truly dreadful act and a truly dreadful situation.” It’s true—but Cameron’s a hypocrite.
News International’s chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, and former Downing Street chief spin doctor, Andy Coulson, both edited the News of the World. Brooks edited it when Milly disappeared.
Both say they knew nothing about the phone hacking. Both are friends with Cameron.
This week, Cameron’s government gave the green light to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire—which includes the News of the World—to grab even more control of the media.
The police come out badly too. They repeatedly tried to limit their investigations into extensive phone tapping.
In the Dowler case, the News of the World made no attempt to hide from the police what it was doing. The murky role of police informers, corruption and cover-up run through the scandal.
It shows how the police, and the political system, are at the beck and call of the rich.