The Washington Post

Sen. Rockefeller wants U.S. News Corp. investigation

Sen. Jay Rockefeller said there would be severe consequences if News Corp. journalists had hired anyone to intercept American voicemails. (Chris Ratcliffe/BLOOMBERG)

Rockefeller said that U.S. agencies should investigate whether the company broke any U.S. laws and whether any Americans have had their privacy violated.

In a statement, Rockefeller said reports that journalists asked an investigator to hack into the voicemails of victims of the Sept.11 attacks are of particular concern to him.

“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe,” he said in a statement.

At the FCC’s open meeting Tuesday, chairman Julius Genachowski said that he doesn’t plan to get involved with any such investigation.

In the U.K., the scandal has already prompted News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to close the 168-year-old paper and the company has withdrawn its bid for the British Sky Broadcasting Group, after numerous politicians joined a movement saying the deal would not be in the national interest.

In a regulatory filing, News Corp. said it no longer intends to make an offer for any part of BSkyB it doesn’t already own.

“We believed that the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corporation would benefit both companies but it has become clear that it is too difficult to progress in this climate,” said Chase Carey, News Corporation’s deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer. “News Corporation remains a committed long-term shareholder in BSkyB. We are proud of the success it has achieved and our contribution to it.”

Related stories:

UK PM David Cameron will investigate whether 9/11 victim families were targeted by reporters

Post Tech: Senator wants News Corp. Investigation

BSkyB shares slide further as market no longer believes News Corp will pursue takeover bid

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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