A key US senator has called for an investigation into whether any of News Corporation's organisations in the country have hacked US citizens.
Senate commerce committee chairman Jay Rockefeller has asked the authorities to investigate if any journalists working for Rupert Murdoch had targeted US citizens, and warned of "serious consequences" for the media group if that were the case.
The Democratic senator is the first noteworthy figure in Congress to call for an investigation into the phone-hacking scandal, which on Sunday resulted in the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World after the paper was accused of hacking into the phones of murdered teenager Milly Dowler and the families of British soldiers killed in action, as well as celebrities and politicians.
Murdoch is a major player in the US media landscape, owning the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and publisher Harper Collins.
In a written statement, Rockefeller expressed concern that victims of 9/11 and their families could have been targeted by News Corporation journalists, although he did not offer any evidence to suggest that may be the case.
"I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated," he said.
"The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals - including children - is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics. This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken US law," he said.
The news comes as Murdoch faces further pressure in the UK to abandon his proposed takeover of BSkyB. MPs vote in parliament on Wednesday on an opposition motion that "this House believes that it is in the public interest for Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation to withdraw its bid for BSkyB", with a further statement expected from the prime minister, David Cameron.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Phone-hacking scandal reaches US | Media | guardian.co.uk