Scotland Yard is demanding that reporters at The Guardian disclose the confidential sources that enabled the paper to break the News Corp phone hacking scandal story. The police are citing the UK’s Official Secrets Act — normally used against spies — in a legal bid to get the names. It was The Guardian’s revelation in July that Scotland Yard had poorly handled its investigation of the News of the World for hacking the phone of a missing murdered girl that set the scandal in motion. The fallout from that and allegations that the police were influenced by News Corp officials resulted in the ouster of top Scotland Yard officers. It also caused Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to close the News of the World, abandon its BSkyB takeover bid and submit to the current series of legal and government inquiries. The Guardian’s editor Alan Rusbridger said, “We shall resist this extraordinary demand to the utmost.” Former Labour minister Tom Watson said: “It is an outrageous abuse and completely unacceptable that, having failed to investigate serious wrongdoing at the News of the World for more than a decade, the police should now be trying to move against The Guardian.”
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