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Lautenberg Highlights Additional News Corp. Hacking Allegation in the U.S. as DOJ Review Begins
Lautenberg Flagged News Corp. Hacking Allegations with Federal Authorities in 2005
Lautenberg Press Office, 202-224-3224
Wednesday, July 20,
WASHINGTON—As the Justice Department reviews claims that News Corp. hacked into the phone records or voicemails of American 9/11 victims, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller to highlight a 2005 hacking allegation in the United States that was made against a News Corp. marketing company called News America Marketing.
Lautenberg originally wrote a letter in 2005 bringing this case to the attention of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after a small New Jersey marketing company called FLOORgraphics alleged that News America Marketing engaged in illegal computer espionage by breaking into password protected computer systems and obtaining confidential information.
“As the Department of Justice and FBI examine the recent hacking allegations involving News Corp. and its subsidiaries more closely, I wanted to make sure that you were fully aware of the case of FLOORgraphics and News America, as it may be relevant to your current investigation,” Lautenberg wrote.
A copy of today’s letter can be found here and the text is copied below.
July 20, 2011
The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Director Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20535
Dear Attorney General Holder and Director Mueller:
I understand from reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has begun a preliminary review into allegations that News Corporation (News Corp.) may have sought to illegally access phone records or hack into the voicemails of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
In connection with the FBI’s review of News Corp.’s conduct, I wanted to bring to your attention the attached letter that I wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in June 2005 regarding another incident involving News Corp. and allegations of illegal conduct. Specifically, FLOORgraphics, Inc. (FLOORgraphics), a corporate constituent of mine based in Princeton, New Jersey, provided in-store advertising on behalf of manufacturers of major food, health, and household items selling products in grocery stores throughout the country. One of FLOORgraphics’s competitors in this business was News America Marketing (News America), which is owned by News Corp.
At the time of my letter in 2005, I was informed by FLOORgraphics that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service initiated an investigation into allegations that News America illegally gained access to FLOORgraphics’s password-protected computer system and obtained FLOORgraphics’s confidential data. In response to my letter, the Department of Justice informed me that, as a matter of policy, it was not in a position to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation into News America’s conduct, but that the Department of Justice took all allegations of criminal conduct very seriously.
As the Department of Justice and FBI examine the recent hacking allegations involving News Corp. and its subsidiaries more closely, I wanted to make sure that you were fully aware of the case of FLOORgraphics and News America, as it may be relevant to your current investigation. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information my office may be able to provide about FLOORgraphics’s allegations, as appropriate.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your timely reply.
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