Prodded by irish American congressman Peter King the FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which heads up The Washington Post, Fox and SKY, sought to hack into the phones of September 11 victims.
On Thursday a law enforcement official informed the Associated Press that the investigations, by the FBI, had been officially launched. The decision to investigate the corporations came after US Congressman Peter King, head of the Homeland Security Committee in the House and several other members of Congress demanded an inquiry. They wrote to FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting it.
The FBI declined to comment on the scope of the investigation or to describe what steps had been taken.
Department of Justice spokeswoman, Laura Sweeney said the department "does not comment specifically on investigations, though anytime we see evidence of wrongdoing, we take appropriate action."
The FBI and US attorney's office in New York also declined comment.
Congressman King said that he had not been officially contacted by the FBI. He said he would reserve comment until he had heard from them. He said "If they do, I'd be gratified."
On Thursday Murdoch and his son, James, also agreed to appear before lawmakers next week in Britain. They are investigating phone hacking and bribery by employees of their corporation.
British police at Scotland Yard, in London, have made their seventh arrest with relation to the News of the World newspaper scandal.
Murdoch has said that he believes his media company will recover from the scandal which forced the New of the World newspaper, in Britain, to close its doors. News Corp has been in crisis mode since the news hit.
It was reported that the News of the World has hacked into the cell phone of a teenage girl from the UK, Milly Dowler, in 2002. Dowler was later found dead. It is believed that the newspapers interference with her phone impeded the police investigation. Some after this story became public other victims emerged including the former Prime Minister of Britain, Gordon Brown.