Press Releases

Conyers: Allegations That News Corp. Violated Privacy of 9/11 Victims Are Disturbing and Require Thorough Review

Washington, DC, July 15, 2011

Today, Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) said that the Democratic Staff of the House Judiciary Committee will review allegations that News Corporation (“News Corp.”) has engaged in serious and systemic invasions of privacy.  News Corp. is a United States media corporation with international operations.

“With every day, the allegations against News Corp. grow more extensive and more disturbing,” said Conyers.  “Last week, we learned that News of the World—a British tabloid published by a News Corp. subsidiary—hacked into the voicemail of a British teenager who was abducted and murdered in 2002.  This revelation follows reports that the tabloid, which maintained a bureau in Hollywood, had for years illegally intercepted the voicemail messages of private individuals residing in the United States.

“Now it has been reported that News of the World approached a New York City police officer and asked him to obtain and provide the phone records of victims of the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001.

“A free and healthy press is essential, and the actions of the media should be scrutinized by the government only in rare circumstances. However, I believe the allegations in this case, particularly those relating to the families and victims of 9/11, are serious enough to warrant our examination.

“I applaud Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that the Justice Department has opened a formal investigation into allegations that News Corp. may have violated both federal wiretapping statutes and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  My staff will work with the Justice Department and other law enforcement authorities as they proceed.”