Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Murdoch Hacking Scandal Continues to Expand

Before I get started, here's an excellent interview of John Dean by Keith Olbermann regarding where this incredible scandal is heading...

I want to go straight to the excellent coverage of this growing privacy debacle by Think Progress. Of particular note, Carl Bernsteing has an OUTSTANDING article in Newsweek (entitled “Murdoch’s Watergate.”) essentially blowing the roof off the Murdoch/Fox empire.

As noted by Think Progress, Gordon Brown himself has now joined other members of his Labour Party, members of the royal family, victims of terrorism, murder, and their family members in being targeted with shady or allegedly illegal practices by the newspapers.

Here's more: "Much of the scandal has focused on Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of News International, who was previously editor of the News of the World and the Sun. It was Brooks who contacted the Browns in 2006 to tell them that she had obtained — likely in violation of privacy rules– records showing that their four-month-old son Fraser was suffering from cystic fibrosis. 

But while victims have demanded that Rebekah Brooks resign, Murdoch has given her an “extraordinary show of support,” taking her to dinner yesterday and saying she is his “top priority.”

But Murdoch may soon have bigger problems on his hands. Legal experts told the AP today that his company could face criminal prosecution in the U.S. for his U.K. papers’ alleged bribery of British police officers, which would be a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to the the Department of Justice, “The FCPA prohibits payments made in order to assist the firm in obtaining or retaining business.” 

Thus the papers’ use of bribery to obtain information which helped sell newspapers could fall under the act’s purview. And even though the bribery occurred entirely in Britian, NewsCorp is an American company, incorporated in Delaware, and held accountable for its foreign subsidiary’s actions. Even if the corporation wasn’t directly involved in bribery, it could be found in violation of the law for turning a “blind eye.”

The legal experts told the AP they would be surprised if the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DoJ have not already opened investigations into the matter and said the decision to shutter News of the World was potentially an attempt to limit Murdoch and NewsCorp’s legal exposure. 

NewsCorp is also the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, which have largely ignored the scandal."

I'll get to this more in future posts, but suffice it to say, the Murdoch empire is by far the most destructive media/propaganda force in the world today, perhaps in history, just in terms of its reach and scope. I am extremely interested to see where this all leads....

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