A delivery driver has told the Leveson Inquiry about how he highlighted issues over mobile phone security to the media – and to Vodafone – in 1999.
Steven Nott’s warning about the ease with which voicemail messages could be intercepted using default codes pre-dates the hacking scandal and the introduction of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which made civilian voicemail interception illegal.
Nott has revealed how he tried to sell stories about the problems with mobile phone security to The Daily Mirror and The Sun, but he claims in his evidence that after journalists showed initial interest in the story – nothing appeared.
It is contention – which he has also made on his blog www.hackergate.co.uk – that the newspapers didn’t run the stories because they would rather use the information as a new way to get scoops.
Nott has detailed how he contacted a great many news organisations and that his story finally appeared in the South Wales Argus in October 1999.
Nott notes that a story detailing the concerns he had highlighted was published by the Mail on Sunday in May 2000 headlined: “Mobile phone snooper scam”.
The News of the World is one of the few news organisations Nott doesn’t appear to have been in contact with.