The High Court has ruled the pictures illegal. Google refuses to take straightforward technical measures to stop them being displayed on its search engine. In a society with respect for the rule of law, that is clearly wrong. The point is a straightforward one: should Google be allowed to refuse to take measures to stop illegal images being displayed? Or should they have to respect the law and the courts as is the norm in all civilised societies? I believe that it's time for Google to learn that with great power and wealth comes great responsibility, not immunity from the rule of law.
I can never be sure whether any of the stories I worked on were expedited by the headlining practise of hacking. What I can be sure of is that a number of leads that had reached a dead end, had all of a sudden endless avenues after a hack's surreptitious chat with news desk elders. It is amazing what you can learn by eavesdropping on a phone call of a hack, rather than hacking a phone of a Jude Law.
This trial was the eye of a perfect storm in that was a very high-profile case and a much more far-reaching prosecution in terms of punishment and implication than we saw in 2006... Whether or not the law around phone hacking is changed or new offences created will probably depend on the public reaction to Coulson's sentence.