The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, has today written to The Times concerning an article published on Wednesday 15 October 2014 in which the newspaper reported that the DPP had "defended the police's use of anti-terrorism powers to hack into journalists' records to obtain their sources." The below letter has been published in today's Times:
Far from defending the use of RIPA to obtain journalist sources I very clearly said that such data should only be obtained where serious criminal offending is alleged (Times, 15 October).
The two cases which have been highlighted involved a part time judge deliberately perverting the course of justice for which she was jailed, and allegations of a police conspiracy against the Government; this was not about either a confidential tip off over speeding fines or the source of an embarrassing leak, both of which would have been totally inappropriate uses of RIPA in my opinion.
A free and open press is vital to our democracy and maintaining confidential sources is an important part of holding power to account.
Director of Public Prosecutions