The Rupert Murdoch scandal surrounding News International took another surprising turn this afternoon as revelations surfaced that the paper--in addition to hacking into the voicemail of a murder victim and targetting 9/11 victims for the same treatment--turned their sites on former prime minister Gordon Brown.
The Guardian reports today that:
Journalists from across News International repeatedly targeted the former prime minister Gordon Brown, attempting to access his voicemail and obtaining information from his bank account, his legal file as well as his family's medical records.
There is also evidence that a private investigator used a serving police officer to trawl the police national computer for information about him.
Not only that, but
That investigator also targeted another Labour MP who was the subject of hostile inquiries by the News of the World, but it has not confirmed whether News International was specifically involved in trawling police computers for information on Brown.
Separately, Brown's tax paperwork was taken from his accountant's office apparently by hacking into the firm's computer. This was passed to another newspaper.
And the story only gets crazier from there.
It's hard not to think that American prosecutors will now get involved in the case--given Murdoch's American citizenship--with yet another accusation of the paper's alleged attempts at bribery of governmental officials in Britain--a violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The scandal will likely also sink the media mogul's desire to acquire Sky TV in Great Britain. But better yet the revelations could mark the end of Murdoch's rapidly expanding media empire and political influence. Only trouble is, will it come at the cost of a free media, not only in Great Britain, but also at home?