Friday, January 26, 2007

Royal snoop gets the slammer

A British newspaper was sentenced to time in jail today for hacking into the voice mail of the assistants of Princes William and Harry. I can't remember the last time this happened (prison time for a scribe who violated privacy rules) but it's a sign at least some courts recognize there really is a right to privacy and even celebrities have the right to be left alone as long as they generally stay out of trouble.

It doesn't matter that they are people on the public payroll or have a significant constitutional duty ... they're human beings and they need their own space.

It's becoming an issue as William intensifies his relationship with Kate Middleton. She's being harrassed as much as Diana was and maybe even more so. I doubt Will and Kate are going to get married this year -- after all, Betty Windsor and Phillip are celebrating their sixtieth anniversary this fall and I don't think The Firm wants anything to interfere with that. But Diana didn't put down her foot quite enough or often enough and it was ultimately to her detriment. Middleton needs to take the opportunity to do so now, before she and Will even get engaged. Matter of fact, if I were Middleton, I'd tell the media to back off or else I'd use my contacts in MI-5 and make them "disappear" the same way the late Augusto Pinochet did to several thousand Chileans.

Not that I really would (a royal, after all, should be among the first to defend press freedom in a democracy) but just putting the fear of God in some of the more unscrupulous members of the Fourth Estate might wake them up.

Or not.

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