FINAL UPDATE: well it seems this news has caused a stir across the pond, not only with shareholders wondering why Murdoch treats Newscorp like “family candy” but a call from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington calling for a Congressional Inquiry into Newscorp:
Despite claims by NI executives that the phone hacking scandal enveloping Murdoch and his media empire was confined to the now-defunct News of the World, new evidence shows other Murdoch papers used the same tactics. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was repeatedly targeted for more than a decade by other Murdoch publications.
Further, a former New York City police officer claims he was offered money by News of the World journalists to retrieve the phone records of 9/11 victims and their families.
Yes, the scandal that is shaking the Murdoch Empire is expanding to the US, implicating not only the publisher of the WSJ in hacking the Royal Family with details bought from the police, but also – just as they hacked the victims and relatives of the London 7/7 bombings – there are reports that News International tried to suborn US police officers for hacking details of victims the 9/11 attacks.
According to today’s Daily Mirror:
a former New York cop made the 9/11 hacking claim. He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.
Now working as a private investigator, the ex-officer claimed reporters wanted the victim’s phone numbers and details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading up to the atrocity.
A source said: “This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data. He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their relatives.
“His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.
“The investigator said the journalists seemed particularly interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.”
This comes hard on the heels of revelations from Robert Peston at the BBC that emails, seen by senior NI executives in 2007, but only handed to the police a few weeks ago, show that the News of the World paid police domestic protection officers, looking after the Royal Family, for private phone numbers and personal details…
Regarding the emails that were found in 2007 but only passed to the police on July. At least some of them provided evidence that the NOTW was buying the contact details of the Royal family and their friends from a Royal protection officer. This suggests that the security of the head of state was being compromised. It’s a remarkable story. As soon as the newer management of the NOTW became aware of what was in the emails, they were told them that they had to give them immediately to the police. But here is evidence that the private details of the Royal family were sold, by a protection officer, to the News of the World.
So many laws, suborning a police officer, lying to Parliament, court perjury are exposed by this revelation, let alone the security risk to our nominal head of state. I don’t like Monarchy, but the idea that News International could break the law to bribe, distort and blackmail with impunity for so long staggers me.
And this has ramifications for his US operations too.