Info chief challenge over naming press blagging targets

A campaign group has written to Information Commissioner Christopher Graham demanding that he reveal details of those targeted by private investigator Steve Whittamore between 1999 and 2005.

If he refuses to release the information, has he has done thus far, The Independent reports that the group, called Hacked Off, could seek judicial review of his decision. Releasing the names could pave the way for new actions for invasion of privacy against nearly every national newspaper group.

Former senior investigating officer for the Information Commissoner Alex Owens told the Leveson Inquiry in November that journalists had made 17,000 requests for information to Whittamore over a six-year period.

It is not known how many of these inquiries were illegal.

Yesterday rail union leader Tom Crow revealed that he had been told by police that Whittamore had used blagging techniques to find out the identity of a man who had given him lifts to work on a scooter for a period.

Whittamore was said to have been acting on behalf of the Mail on Sunday and, police told Crow, he phoned up the DVLA claiming that the scooter had been in a crash in order to find out who owned it.

Crow was getting lifts to work from his personal assistant.

  • To contact the Press Gazette newsdesk call 020 7336 5327 or email pged@pressgazette.co.uk

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