Hacking scandal: Over 200,000 emails deleted


News International asked HCL Technologies to delete over 200,000 internal emails on nine separate occasions.

Between April 2010 and July 2011, the Indian firm was asked by Rupert Murdoch's company, currently at the centre of a hacking scandal, to delete emails, according to reports.

Tom Watson MP, who was a key figure at the recent grilling of Rupert Murdoch and his son James, had claimed there was an attempt to get rid of data at an HCL facility in Chennai, India to cover up the extent of hacking.

However, the IT company said nothing untoward appeared to have happened. The deleted data included delivery failure messages and duplicate emails.

HCL said such requests were "not at all unusual or untoward," in a letter to MPs.

Lawyer Stuart Benson said on behalf of HCL that it was a matter for News International, the police and the home affairs select committee to determine whether there was any "other agenda" at work when the emails were deleted.

Keith Vaz, chair of the committee, said he was "surprised" the emails were deleted, confirming MPs would look further into the situation.

HCL said it did not hold data belonging to News International relevant to the hacking scandal. It confirmed it manages a range of IT systems for Murdoch's company, however.

Computer hacking investigation

Scotland Yard has confirmed it will look into claims of computer hacking by the News of The World.

Operation Tuleta will explore allegations that Trojans were used to steal data from individuals. Last month, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown claimed Trojans had indeed been used to access information to be used in articles.

A BBC Panorama report from earlier in the year claimed Ian Hurst, a former British army intelligence officer who served in Northern Ireland, was targeted by hackers employed by News of the World.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.