The several parallel Metropolitan Police investigations into the News of the World "phone hacking" scandal, Operation Tuleta and Operation Weeting and Operation Elevden continue to produce no arrests and no prosecutions of corrupt Police or Mobile Phone industry insiders, with respect to the alleged abuse of Communications Data privacy, especially the abuse of Mobile Phone Location Data.
Surely it is obvious now even to the most technologically illiterate politicians and Whitehall civil servants, that there is no effective regulation of Communications Data investigation systems.
Communications Data snooping by the Police etc can be a powerful investigative technique, but only when it is clear that it is not being abused.
Public confidence in the use of these techniques has been damaged by allegations (so far without much hard proof) that disreputable tabloid newspapers have been able to gain access to this highly intrusive, private information, which can only have come via corrupt police or intelligence agency or mobile phone network staff.
BBC reports that lawyers in civil cases before Mr Justice Vos have claimed:
18 November 2011 Last updated at 16:29
NoW hacking victims claim investigator tracked phones
A private investigator was involved in illegally tracking mobile phones, hacking victims have claimed.
Glenn Mulcaire, who was jailed for phone hacking for the News of the World, is linked to the so-called pinging of mobiles and computer hacking, a High Court civil case heard.
Pinging is tightly regulated and restricted to police, security services and a small selection of other bodies.
Mulcaire and News International have yet to respond to the claims in court.
The allegations were aired at a case management hearing in the civil cases for breach of privacy brought by hacking victims against News International, the owner of the now defunct NoW.
In July, the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Tuleta, alongside phone-hacking inquiry Operation Weeting, to probe allegations of computer hacking.
Operation Tuleta is examining breach of privacy claims received by police since January.
Sea also the previous Spy Blog article and comments back in July 2011:
NYT: NOTW bought mobile phone location data for $500 a time from corrupt police
N.B. under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, there are no criminal sanctions available against the Police or others who abuse Communications Data, of which Mobile Phone Location Data is a part, although there is a penalty of up to 2 years in prison for illegal Interception of the content of mobile phone voice or data communications, which is what the the News of the two News of the World employees were convicted of back in 2007.
The deliberate loopholes in this lax regime, brought in by the technologically inept yet authoritarian Labour government e.g. the totally ineffective and secretive Interception of Communications Commissioner, have not been tightened up by the dithering Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition government,
The proposals to slightly strengthen the roles of the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner and/ or the creation of an Intelligence Services Inspector General outlined in the recent Green Paper on Justice and Security , do not apply to "normal" Police cases.