US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] on Friday announced that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official website] will open an inquiry into whether journalists working for the media company News Corporation (News Corp.) [media website] and its subsidiaries violated US laws by hacking into the mobile phones of 9/11 [JURIST backgrounder] victims. The FBI said that it had begun to examine the allegations [Al Jazeera report] against News Corp., an organization owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch [Forbes profile]. British Prime Minister David Cameron [official website] announced earlier this week that the UK would also initiate an inquiry [Conservatives report] into the alleged wrongdoing of the press and police in connection with the 9/11 phone hacking scandal, as well as a full-scale review of press regulations.
Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives [official websites] called on US agencies Wednesday to open the News Corp. investigation [JURIST report]. The requests come in response to an article [text] published in the British tabloid, The Daily Mirror [official website], claiming that journalists working for the company offered to pay a New York City police officer in exchange for victims' phone information and call details. Recent reports allege that journalists for the now-defunct British tabloid, News of the World [media website], a News Corp. subsidiary, paid London police officers for private information, including telephone records, to use in various news stories. The company could face additional charges under the accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) [background materials, PDF] for not properly recording any illicit transactions in their books.