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News Corp. Hacking In The U.S.A.? More Reasons To Think So

Reported by Ellen - July 18, 2011 -

The New York Times has an interesting article today which offers more grounds to suspect that News Corp. hacking may have occurred in the United States. (H/T Nina B.)

As part of a lengthy article, the Times notes a News Corp. company called News America Marketing, led by a man named Paul V. Carlucci, which ran into repeated accusations of improper and illegal business practices – including hacking:

"Time and again in the United States and elsewhere, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation has used blunt force spending to skate past judgment, agreeing to payments to settle legal cases and, undoubtedly more important, silence its critics. In the case of News America Marketing, its obscure but profitable in-store and newspaper insert marketing business, the News Corporation has paid out about $655 million to make embarrassing charges of corporate espionage and anticompetitive behavior go away.

In 2009, a federal case in New Jersey brought by a company called Floorgraphics went to trial, accusing News America of, wait for it, hacking its way into Floorgraphics’s password protected computer system.

The complaint summed up the ethos of News America nicely, saying it had “illegally accessed plaintiff’s computer system and obtained proprietary information” and “disseminated false, misleading and malicious information about the plaintiff."

The Times explains that that case was settled, along with several other cases alleging wrongdoing. Then comes this paragraph:

So what became of him? Mr. Carlucci, as it happens, became the publisher of The New York Post in 2005 and continues to serve as head of News America, which doesn’t exactly square with Mr. Murdoch’s recently stated desire to “absolutely establish our integrity in the eyes of the public.”

Meanwhile, Brian Braiker at Adweek took a look at the Post in the context of the News Corp. phone hacking scandal and wrote:

The Post has endorsed a policy which allows reporters to lie about their identities in order to gain information. And it has involved a pattern of rewarding people who supply the paper with information and other benefits and punishing those who don’t.

While the Post itself may not hack phones, insiders also say that it has not been uncommon for the tabloid to refer certain stories to the News of the World, which then developed them on its own and which the Post would subsequently run with.

But hacking Facebook accounts is something the Post would routinely do, according to two former photographers. The photographers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, describe one reporter gaining access to accounts for private information in crime victims’ social networks, including at least one person who had been involved in a sex scandal.

The photographers, and several other former employees, say they had been regularly asked to conceal their identity as journalists, and to lie and sneak their way into a hospital room and an apartment building—dressing up as a doctor in the former case and as a Consolidated Edison employee in the latter.

Curious and curiouser... Stay tuned!

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