Plot to hack newspaper among more than 30 BBC, Mail and Telegraph story links removed from Google

Google has removed links to more than 30 stories from the BBC, Telegraph and Mail websites, the publishers have revealed.

The BBC last week identified 12 stories that Google has notified it over – although it is not disclosed who the removal requests are made by.

BBC stories include a 2002 report on former Daily Mail employee who was jailed in 2000 for a plot to hack into the newspaper’s computers.

The ‘right to be forgotten’ requests mean that the link is removed from certain search terms. So when the person's name is searched, Google says: “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe”.

But searching the former employee's name, William Culbert, and 'Daily Mail’ together puts the BBC link top, and also includes links to stories on The Guardian, Times, Independent and Computer Weekly websites. According to the BBC Culbert, 55 at the time, was jailed for 18 months in 2000.

Other BBC links removed from specific search terms on Google include a story about a lost dog, a 2005 page of appeals from those looking for family members following the Asia tsunami and a 2003 report on a woman found guilty of running a prostitution ring.

Mail Online reported last week that nine of its stories had been affected by ‘right to be forgotten’ requests. Publisher Martin Clarke has described it as previously “the equivalent of going into libraries and burning books you don't like”.

The Telegraph has also listed every story – 12 in total, with 14 links – which Google links have been removed to. These include links to four images relating to Max Mosley's 2008 sex scandal.

The Telegraph reports that links to two stories about a Scottish football referee who came under scrutiny for a penalty decision and who subsequently resigned were removed and then reinstated by Google.

The original 'right to be forgotten' ruling was passed in the EU Court of Justice in mid-May, allowing individuals to force the removal of links to website articles.

At the end of the month, Google introduced an online form where requests could be made.

In July, Google admitted that it had made 'right to be forgotten' removal mistakes, and that some stories had been reinstated. It also revealed that it was receiving 1,000 take-down requests a day.

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