News of the World Tried to Hack 9/11 Victims Phones?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Reporters from the now-defunct News of the World reportedly tried to hack the cell phones of British victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The Daily Mail reports that a former New York City policeman claims reporters contacted him, offering money to get the phone records.  

The former cop, now a private detective who the Daily Mirror said is "used by a lot of journalists in America," turned down the job.

"He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives," a source told the Mirror. "His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK."

These voice mails would likely include frantic messages from loved ones looking for the victims following their deaths.

"The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look," the source said.

News of the World published its last issue on Sunday, closing down because of the hacking scandal.

The scandal shows no sign of slowing down, and in fact appears to be widening. The Daily Mail also reports that former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown claims his records were hacked, but not by News of the World; rather, it was from its sister newspaper the Sunday Times.

As the investigation moves forward, criminal charges could be in the offing. It could reach as high as James Murdoch, the chairman of News International, the British publishing arm of News Corp., and the son of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. James Murdoch his seen as his father's eventual successor, but those plans could be scuttled if charges are filed.