Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has called on U.S. authorities to investigate whether any News Corp. media outlets may have broken U.S. laws in light of the phone-hacking scandal involving one of the company's British tabloids.
News Corp., which owns the Fox News network, Wall Street Journal and other U.S. media outlets, is under investigation by U.K. authorities after it was revealed that the company's News of the World tabloid had hacked the cellphones of British politicians, members of the Royal Family and even crime victims. News Corp. closed the tabloid as a result of the scandal.
In a statement late Tuesday, Rockefeller said the British case "raises serious questions about whether the company has broken U.S. law, and I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated."
He added that he is concerned that the cellphone hacking may have also involved victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or other Americans. "If they did, the consequences will be severe," Rockefeller warned.
Following the commission's monthly meeting Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski told reporters that he has no plans at this point to get involved in the phone-hacking scandal, Bloomberg reported. The FCC oversees the licenses for News Corp.-owned broadcast stations.
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