The Federal Bureau of Investigations has opened an inquiry into allegations that journalists working for News Corp. improperly tried to access the phone records of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack, The New York Times reports.
The move comes in response to calls by U.S. lawmakers to look into the activities of the company in the U.S. in the wake of a widening probe of phone hacking in the U.K. by News Corp.-owned publications.
The inquiry is preliminary, a source said, and the scope of the probe is not known. It comes in part as a response to a request from Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., addressed to FBI director Robert S. Mueller III. King’s complaint cites reports surfacing in connection with the U.K. case that indicate employees of News Corp.’s U.K. tabloid News of the World used bribery and unauthorized wiretaps to try to obtain 9/11 victims’ phone records.
The U.S. investigation, based in New York, is being handled by an FBI cybercrimes unit and a squad that focuses on public corruption and white collar crimes, a source said.