The recent blow-up in the UK over the tabloid media accessing people’s cellular voicemail is certainly interesting. Endless media outlets are reporting the crime as “hacking” cell phones or cell phone voice mail. Here are just a few examples:
- PC World: News of the World Cell Phone Hack: How it’s Done
- New York Times: British Tabloid Hacked Missing Girl’s Voice Mail, Lawyer Says
- MSNBC: Police talk with more parents about cellphone hacks
I find that the use of the term “hacking” in this context rests uneasily with me. In my mind hacking implies that there’s an appreciable skill involved. The most basic of the techniques described I consider to be trivially simple. It requires no particular skill at all, just a little devilishness.