The Wall Street Journal says that the subpoenas would be significant because they’d “represent an escalation of scrutiny” by the Justice Department of the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch. The story cites “a government official” who says that DOJ is looking at allegations that News Of The World employees bribed UK officials — as well as a charge made by the Daily Mirror that Murdoch employees tried to find news stories by hacking into cell phones of U.S. 9/11 victims. Senior leaders at the Justice Department have not yet approved the subpoenas. Still, the paper says that News Corp is “bracing for increased scrutiny” from the FBI as well as SEC. The corporate oversight agency is thought to be especially interested in whether News Corp bribed UK police or other officials: That could be seen as a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Journal quoted an anonymous person “close to News Corp” who says the subpoenas would represent “a fishing expedition with no evidence to support” them.
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