Sun Valley: Murdoch has nothing to say on wiretapping

July 10, 2009

When it comes to wiretapping in the UK, the key question for Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, is what did he know and when did he know it?

Murdoch’s News of the World is caught up in new allegations that its journalists intercepted mobile phone voicemails of Hollywood celebrities and athletes. British police have said they are not re-opening a 2005 investigation, which saw the firing of then News of World editor Andy Coulson.

Many want to know how far up the chain of command did knowledge of this alleged activity went. So what does Murdoch have to say on this matter?

“Nothing to say at all,” he told Reuters at the Sun Valley conference late on Thursday afternoon.

Murdoch recently promoted The Sun Editor Rebekah Wade to CEO of News Corp’s News International unit based in London. So in light of the scandal, we asked Murdoch if Wade’s job is safe?

“Don’t be silly,” he said gruffly, and set off pretty quickly for a 78-year old media mogul.

(Photo: Reuters/Rick Wilking)

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It should be noted that the News of the world stand accused of accessing voice mail messages by use of weak PIN’s or “blagging” new PIN’sPhone-Tapping is a very different nefarious activity which is tantamount to espionage, and would be a much more serious allegation.Secondary to the main story, we should also ask why public figures such as John Prescott were using communications methods which are so easily compromised.