Friday, November 1, 2013

United Kingdom: Former Editor of Rupert Murdoch's "News of the World" Offered to Pay £1,000 for Sensitve Information

According to Reuters, Andy Coulson, former editor of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, apparently agreed to pay a police officer for a telephone directory of Britain's Royal Household despite being warned it was illegal, a London court heard earlier today.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis said the tabloid's former royal editor, Clive Goodman, had emailed Coulson in January 2003 asking him to approve a  £1,000 (US$1,600) cash payment to a royal protection officer for a "Green Book" which contained the private telephone numbers of the Royal Family.

COMMENT: Reportedly, the unnamed royal protection officer (RPO) insisted on being paid in British pounds, an amount that Andy Coulson agreed to. 

What is not yet known is whether the unnamed royal protection officer actually received payment for the "Green Book." Such information may be clarified in the days ahead.

Needless to say, such activity as a royal protection officer asking for a substantial cash payment for sensitive information that he/she knew they were sworn to protect, which no doubt flags the need for corrective action on the part of the British government, particularly from the standpoint of executive/VIP security protocols.

Additionally, the fact that an officer sworn to protect the Royal Family would even agree to sell their integrity for such a small amount of money, raises the need for intensive interviews, field investigation, development of sources and psychological testing in the future IF it is not already being done. 

In any event, a "lessons-learned" review is clearly warranted as is a "compromised damage report" if a demanded  payment of £1,000 to the RPO was in fact paid.