The Sun - Clive Goodman and the telephone intercepts

Couldn't locate a thread on ARRSE relating to this - if there is one, MOD's please delete this thread.

Following the guilty plea by Clive Goodman yesterday in relation to this story. Would ARRSEr's like to comment on the offence itself from a privacy / technical perspective.

Please don't comment on the case itself, PartTimePongo will be only too happy to remind us of our responsibilities here, so no slating those two wonderful organs that Clive Goodman wrote for, plenty on here already!

Is this the "thin end of the wedge" as far as intercepting telephone messaging is concerned?

Perhaps a RSIGS might like to offer a few knowledgeable words on how the intercept has been done, and what steps could be taken to prevent this in future.

"Complaints by three staff at Clarence House sparked the police inquiry which was widened to examine whether other public figures had had calls intercepted."

I guess that a wide range of people could be targeted in this way, what chance that military mobiles could be accessed in a similar way?


Well, communications can always be tapped/intercepted so nothing new in that. Post can be opened, radios can listen in to most other radios (unless somebody manages to make bowman work properly) and landlines can be physically tapped into (though it takes a bit of work). Even mobiles can be listened in to without too much trouble, though I think there are secure mobiles used by high ups in government that make it a lot harder.

As to the privacy issue, everyone should be able to have privacy on the phone (national security excluded) which is why there are laws against this kind of thing. If Clive Goodman did break the law then he should do his time and learn his lesson (and maybe think about writing in a better paper. sorry, couldn't resist).


I believe Goodman used a low tech route, bought the relevant telephone numbers from someone in the company and dialed the differnet VIPs voicemail


Goodman broke the law. He has pleaded guilty and I hope they throw the book at him because if he has that amount of contempt for our ruling classes how would he regard OUR privacy.

Let him cool his heels in the Scrubs for a few months.


I doubt it. They'll back him because RM made a fortune out of the story and continues to out of the trial.


War Hero
Its common knowledge that the phones were not exactly 'tapped'. He had a PI blag the phone companies and obtained the pin numbers for getting at the voicemails. Still out of order though (Goodman that is, not the phones)


Moblie phones are not that easy to tap. Modern digital phones use unique encryption codes which are difficult to break, 3G phones are even more secure. The police tap phones through the mobile companies as it is much simpler to access them through the network.

This guy accessed their voicemail - by dialing in and I would guess inputing their pin number.

A very serious offence and I would be surprised if he doesn't get a custodial sentence as a warning to others, he certaily deserves one.
Cheers Stooge, this is how I read it, and I think that Sven's comment about it being a fairly low tech route is the case - somehow, I don't see Wapping's finest being capable of bringing down any of the operators.

And GDav, obviously we have to let the law take its natural course before we can comment any further. Either way, I can't see him being offered an exclusive at Balmoral this month!
stameen_s said:
Lasalle said:
Has he been sacked from the NotW?

According to the BBC he has been suspended since August

Either way, I may even waste the cover price to make a purchase on Sunday. Always interesting to see how the NotW covers these stories with the decorum and analytical perspective that we have come to expect.
stameen_s said:
Lasalle said:
Has he been sacked from the NotW?

According to the BBC he has been suspended since August

'Suspended' doesn't mean sacked. You can be suspended on full pay in order for things to blow over.... later you just 'carry on normal jogging'.

If he was actually sacked and he took it like a man (quietly and with some honour), it would show that the paper really were not happy with his methods and that they might not have know about them. If they don't, or they do and he starts screaming 'foul' it would indicate that what he was doing was done with the knowledge of his superiors.

I think he only pleaded guilty because they had him 'bang to rights' and he was looking for a lesser sentence.
Escape-from-PPRuNe said:
Change your voicemail PIN from the default (4444).

That was literally what he was doing.

So, what chance that within any apology printed, there will be some comment along the lines of what a great favour we were doing the people involved, by highlighting this lax security...

EscFromPPRuNe is right though, somebody should be highlighting the risks of leaving the default PIN - Doh...


Book Reviewer


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
If one of the reasons for being guilty is that they were 'motivated by profit' why then are the editor and owner of NoTW not in the dock with them?

This is should be akin to RM being convicted for living off immoral earnings i.e. he did not do the deed but made money from it by publishing the stories. What makes it even sicker is RM will continue to make money from running the conviction story :pissedoff:

Latest Threads