9/11 Victims May Have Been Hacked by Murdoch-Owned Tabloid

The News of the World hacking scandal created international shock waves with stories of how it hacked into a young murder victim’s telephone, presenting devastating hope to her family that she might still be alive. In addition to the many phones whose security and privacy have been allegedly compromised by the now shut-down Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid, accusations are surfacing that the paper <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/news-corp-world-trade-center-9-11-victim-hacking-scandal">hacked some of the cell phones of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

According to CBS News, News of the World, owned by News Corp., seems to have hacked into the voicemail of murder victim, Milly Dowler, accessing and deleting her phone messages to make room for new messages, further distressing an already distraught family. And, as if that is not bad enough, it’s possible that the same was done to phones belonging to those who died on September 11th.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (Democrat-West Virginia) is urging a full-blown probe into if Murdoch’s paper tampered with and targeted the phones of 9/11 victims, said CBS News. According to The Mirror, two anonymous sources allege that similar “investigative journalism” methods, as odious as they are, actually targeted Americans killed on 9/11.

“Someone should look into it to see if their rights were violated—the family members I’ve talked to are appalled, they’re disgruntled, they have to relive the pain all over again,” said Jim Riches, a former deputy chief in the New York Fire Department (NYFD), quoted Politico. Riches’ 29-year-old son, also a fireman, was killed in the attacks. “I think they crossed the line. They’re trying to get messages from loved ones in the last moments of their lives. It’s horrible, and they should be held accountable. It’s despicable and unethical,” Riches added.

CBS News reports that Murdoch’s paper hacked into thousands of phones, such as the phone used by David Cameron, British Prime Minister, as well as phones belonging to countless celebrities. Meanwhile, a former policeman, working as a private investigator, as well as an anonymous source, said that reporters sought victim numbers and call log details for just prior to when the Twin Towers fell, said CBS News.

Prior to its shutdown in the wake of the Milly Dowler scandal News of the World was in print for 168 years. Since, not only has its stock crashed, it pulled its $12 billion bid for TV station, BSkyB, said CBS News, which predicts more Murdoch interests will fail.

Sally Regenhard, vice chairwoman of 9/11 Parents and Families of Firefighters & World Trade Center Victims pointed out that this travesty is coming at a very unfortunate time. “It’s hard enough for people to deal with the 10th anniversary and now this—it just adds more salt to the wounds,” she said, quoted Politico. Regenhard’s 28-year-old firefighter son died in the Twin Tower attacks.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (Democrat-New Jersey) asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Murdoch’s media concerns on behalf of New Jersey victims of 9/11. “The limited information already reported in this case raises serious questions about the legality of the conduct of News Corporation and its subsidiaries under the [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act],” Lautenberg wrote. “Further investigation may reveal that current reports only scratch the surface of the problem at News Corporation,” he added, quoted Politico.

Senators Rockefeller and Barbara Boxer (Democrat-California) wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro asking for a probe into if News Corp. subsidiary employees tried to bribe British police and if Americans’ phones were hacked, said Politico. “The reported allegations against News Corporation are very serious, indicate a pattern of illegal activity, and involve thousands of potential victims. It is important to ensure that no United States laws were broken and no United States citizens were victimized,” said the senators in their letter, quoted Politico.

Robert Menendez (Democrat-New Jersey) also asked for a DOJ investigation, said Politico, which reported that DOJ spokeswoman, Laura Sweeney, said it will review the correspondence.

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