FBI probes News Corp. hacking allegations

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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in New York launched a probe into Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation because a report said that the corporation sought to hack the phones of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks, a federal law enforcement source told CNN Thursday.

The report said the investigation was opened Thursday morning and will try to determine whether employees of News Corp. illegally accessed the private calls, voice-mail messages, or call records of 9/11 victims or their families, Xinhua reported.

The probe will also look into whether any News Corp. employees bribed or sought to bribe police officials to gain access to such records, according to people familiar with the matter, Xinhua said.

"We are aware of the allegations and are looking into them," the federal law enforcement source said anonymously. "We'll be looking at anyone acting for or on behalf of News Corp., from the top down to janitors," to gather information and determine whether any laws may have been broken.

The probe was initiated following calls from a growing number of senators and a senior Republican for an investigation, according to BBC.

New York Rep. Peter T. King, a Republican, earlier this week asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the possibility that journalists working for Murdoch may have tapped into the phones of 9/11 victims and relatives, CNN reported.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch defended his company while saying that an independent committee will be estabished to "investigate every charge of improper conduct." 

The probe is the latest twist in a scandal over phone hacking in Britain by News of the World, a newspaper recently closed by News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal.

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