Detectives from Australia’s Victoria Police last week executed a raid of offices at The Age, one of the largest newspapers in Melbourne, seizing computers and documents they believe were used in a hacking scheme.
Authorities spent eight hours removing computers that were purportedly used by journalists at the paper to hack into a site belonging to the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The alleged hacking stems from a tip the paper received last year that the ALP was gathering private information on voters without their permission. Critics claim that the journalists acquired all their information by hacking into the electoral database.
After the raid, The Age filed for- and won a Supreme Court injunction which blocked the removal of some computer equipment. However, according to reports from The Australian, the Victoria Police planned to challenge the injunction last week.
The Victoria Police first launched an investigation into the alleged hacking incident in mid-November, executing a search warrant on the ALP’s Melbourne headquarters after it was made known that voter names, addresses, phone numbers and marital statuses were being stored without their authorization.
This is just the latest case involving the use of computer hacking to aid the work of reporters. In Britain,an investigation into the use of private detectives by newspapers, including those owned by Australian magnate Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., has turned up evidence of widespread hacking and data theft from computers, including those belonging to government officials and UK intelligence officers.