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October 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Scotland Yard has learned that a “secret phone” within the newsroom of the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid was used to hack into 1,150 telephone numbers between 2004 and 2006, the London Independent reported today, citing no sources. The newspaper said that the phone even had a nickname, “the hub,” and that police regard its existence as particularly significant since it reveals that the interception of voicemails was conducted at least in part from the News of the World newsdesk. Moreover, police now have collected company logs that document every call made on the hub. Not only did the hacking gather personal information about the private lives of politicians and celebrities whose phones were hacked, but it also provided details about the locations of their activities. A former News of the World writer told the Independent that reporters “would be told precisely where a person would be at a given time, so we could go and intercept, photograph and question them. That person would be surprised at how we had discovered their whereabouts. In retrospect the obvious explanation is that a voicemail was left somewhere in which the person had declared their intention to be at a specific location at a specific time.” He said that the hub was located in the “heart” of the newsroom and that it had been used to conduct hacking “on an industrial scale.”