News of the World Allegedly Hacked 9/11 Victims, Murdoch Pressured to Drop TV Deal

 The Mirror reports that, as Rupert Murdoch stood by Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks—his "number one priority"—in London yesterday, new accusations emerged that News of the World may have hacked 9/11 victims in addition to British kidnapping and murder victims and celebrities.

An unnamed former New York cop alleges that the paper contacted him and offered him money to "retrieve private phone messages of the dead," reports the Mirror:

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.”

Ex News of the World editor Andy Coulson was arrested Friday over the allegations, and up to nine more reporters and three officers are facing jail time for their alleged involvement in the hack.

 

Meanwhile, Labour Party Leader Ed Milliband is publicly urging Murdoch to drop NewsCorp's anticipated $12.5 billion-dollar bid to purchase British Sky Broadcasting. “The idea that this organisation, which has engaged in these terrible ­practices, should be allowed to take over BSkyB... without that criminal investigation having been completed, and on the basis of assurances from that self-same ­organisation… frankly that won’t wash with the public,” he said. The deal is dependent on approval by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, but looks to be in limbo. Hunt is looking to OfCom and the Office of Fair Trading to advise him on how the hacking revelations might weigh on the BSkyB situation, reports the Guardian:

The Lib Dem party president, MP Tim Farron, told BBC Radio 4: "If a legally worded motion comes to the House opposing a further Murdoch takeover of BSkyB I can't see how Liberal Democrats would vote against that."

Read more here.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 11, 2011, 3:55am