U.S. seriously probing News Corp 9/11 hacking report

WASHINGTON Wed Aug 3, 2011 3:21pm EDT

A man holds a U.S. flag while others pause for a moment of silence to pay their respects at the site of the former Twin Towers on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York September 11, 2009. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A man holds a U.S. flag while others pause for a moment of silence to pay their respects at the site of the former Twin Towers on the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York September 11, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder will reassure families of September 11 victims when he meets them later this month that the Justice Department is seriously investigating allegations that News Corp reporters tried to hack victims' phones.

"I'll certainly want to hear what they have to say with regard to their concerns and, to the extent that I can share information with them, I will," Holder said on Wednesday.

"I will try to reassure them that this is something we are taking seriously," he told reporters.

Holder will meet with the families on August 24 at their request following a report in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper that reporters with the rival News of the World had offered to pay a New York police officer for private phone records of some victims of the 2001 attacks.

The Mirror report, citing an unidentified source, has yet to be independently verified but has fueled speculation that the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch's News Corp media empire in Britain may spread to the United States.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into the hacking allegation after the Daily Mirror report appeared.

The amount of information that Holder can share with the victims' families will likely be limited because of the ongoing investigation.

During an inquiry by members of Britain's Parliament in London last month, Murdoch said there was nothing to suggest his reporters had hacked the phones of September 11 victims.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Anthony Boadle)

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Comments (10)
Chazz wrote:
Just wait till the investigation finds that call centers staffed with illegal….er…undocumented aliens helped hack those phone lines! That’ll be the last we’ll hear about this fo sho…ummm hum, yessir….

Aug 03, 2011 3:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
CaptRichie wrote:
Just think: if Holder could only shut down Murdoch, Fox and the Wall Street Journal there’d be nothing standing in the way of our total take-over from those pesky Conservatives and racist Teabaggers. Heaven on Earth. Mexican truckers are a great first step. Now let’s open the whole border.

Aug 03, 2011 3:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
rawbitz wrote:
These comments are just bizarre, so let’s review; This is a story about the investigation of a news organization accused of invading the privacy of 9/11 victim’s families. It’s not about immigration, political parties or international commerce.

Join us in reality. You might find it somewhat refreshing.

Aug 03, 2011 4:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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