Phone hacking may have included Downing Street

The attention surrounding News International – Rupert Murdoch’s media empire – intensified as allegations emerged that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown had personal data targeted by several News International publications.

Brown on Tuesday accused Murdoch’s newspapers of employing criminals to obtain confidential details about him and his family.

The former prime minister believes, while in office, The Sunday Times, another News International publication, had attained confidential data including his bank account details and legal files.

“I’m shocked, I’m genuinely shocked, to find that this happened because of their links with criminals, known criminals, who were undertaking this activity, hired by investigators with The Sunday Times,” Brown told Associated Press on Tuesday.

In the meantime Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation late on Monday announced that it is withdrawing its proposed undertakings in lieu of reference to the Competition Commission with respect to its proposed acquisition of BSkyB.

The £8bn takeover bid of BSkyB will now be subject to a full Competition Commission investigation, which the government said could delay the takeover by at least another six months.


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