NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims, a law enforcement official said Thursday.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
Long Island Rep. Peter King said that he wanted to see an investigation.
“I want them to investigate and investigate fully. I have a lot of 9/11 families in my district, they’re entitled to know if their privacy was violated,” King said.
Meanwhile, Murdoch told the Wall Street Journal — which is owned by News Corp. — that he is “just getting annoyed” at all the recent negative press.
Murdoch dismissed reports he would sell his U.K. newspapers to stem the scandal, calling the suggestion “total rubbish.”
He also rejected criticism of his son James’s response to the crisis, saying “he acted as fast as he could, the moment he could.”
A rival newspaper reported last week that the company’s News of the World had hacked into the phone of U.K. teenage murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002 and may have impeded a police investigation into the 13-year-old’s disappearance.
More possible victims soon emerged: other child murder victims, 2005 London bombing victims, the families of dead soldiers and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The FBI’s New York office didn’t immediately comment Thursday. There was no immediate response to messages left for News Corp. and the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.
On Thursday, Murdoch caved in to pressure from Britain’s Parliament as he and his son first refused, then agreed, to appear next week before lawmakers investigating phone hacking and bribery by employees of their newspaper empire.
Murdoch began his media career in Australia in 1952 after inheriting The News newspaper after the death of his father, and he has built News Corp. into one of the world’s biggest media groups. Assets include Fox News, the 20th Century Fox movie studio, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and three newspapers in Britain — down from four with the death of the News of the World.
Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section Below…
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)