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One of the recurring themes of this blog about white collar crime is about the rise of various types of computer crimes. In short, as a former federal prosecutor, (and as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense lawyer), I have witnessed in my career that computers and the internet have opened a whole new world to con artists and other criminals. It seems it is only a matter of time that all of us will eventually become victims of identity theft or some other type of computer crime.
Another recurring theme of this blog involves the threat which modern technology presents to our right to privacy. For instance, you can't even go out to get a cup of coffee in this country any more without being watched by Big Brother. (Just think about all the ways you would be watched, or detected, if you visit your local Starbucks!)
But have you heard the news about the burgeoning phone hacking scandal in Great Britain? On Friday, according to various news reports, Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman, two former editors of the popular tabloid, News of the World, were arrested and charged with alleged phone hacking and corruption charges. Of course, they are each entitled to their day in court. The hacking charges reportedly center around allegations that the phone, or voice mail, of a murdered teenager and phones of families of soldiers killed in action were hacked for salacious news stories. As a result, yesterday, the last edition of the tabloid was produced. In short, the tabloid's owners, which include the family of news magnate Rupert Murdoch, pulled the plug on it.
Hopefully, this scandalous news story will serve as a warning to other potential computer and telephone hackers "out there." It will be interesting to watch as the events in this story continue to unfold! For now, I suppose I should put on a disguise as I go out for a cup of coffee! After all, Big Brother is still watching!