FBI probes hacking allegations against News Corp.

@CNNMoney July 14, 2011: 5:06 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The FBI has launched an investigation into Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. amid allegations that employees or associates may have hacked into phone conversations and voicemail of Sept. 11 survivors, victims and their families, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.

"We are aware of the allegations and are looking into them," the source told CNN. "We'll be looking at anyone acting for or on behalf of News Corp., from the top down to janitors," to gather information and determine whether any laws may have been broken, the source added.

Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, urged the FBI on Wednesday to launch an investigation. He called for the probe to focus on recent reports alleging that journalists working for News Corp.'s News of the World tried to obtain phone records of 9/11 victims through bribery and unauthorized wiretapping.

"If these allegations are proven true, the conduct would merit felony charges for attempting to violate various Federal statutes related to corruption of public officials and prohibitions against wiretapping," King said in a letter sent to the Justice Department.

Hacking scandal hits News Corp.'s stock

Shares of News Corp. (NWSA, Fortune 500) fell more than 3% in Thursday's trading session. The company declined to comment.

Rupert Murdoch's media empire has been under fire since last week amid allegations that News of the World journalists were also involved with hacking phones of celebrities, politicians as well as of a murdered teen girl and the father of a bombing victim.

On Wednesday, the New York-based company withdrew its $12.5 billion bid to purchase all of British Sky Broadcasting in the wake of the growing phone hacking scandal.

-- CNN National Correspondent Susan Candiotti contributed to this report. To top of page

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