Buh-bye Rupert! Jude Law Claims Phone Hack in New York


An alleged 2003 News of the World phone hack of actor Jude Law and his personal assistant Ben Jackson while the duo were in New York is the first specific case of Rupert Murdoch’s law-breaking reporters operating in America.

Because the mobile phones were operating on American networks, United States law applies. Hacking into phones is a violation of Federal law and could also involve civil suits. Both Jude Law and Ben Jackson have retained counsel.

The FBI has already announced it is opening a preliminary investigation into claims that allegations that the scandal-ridden scandal mongers tried to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11 attacks.

The Telegraph reports a source close to the actor and Jackson said:

The allegation that they may have been hacked while on private visit in the United States is of great concern to them both.

It should also be of great concern to politicians, citizens, and to Fox News whose media commentators admitted last week that they wouldn’t touch the News Corp hacking debacle

with a ten-foot turban

50 Responses to "Buh-bye Rupert! Jude Law Claims Phone Hack in New York"
nahant | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:27 pm 1

And the dam keeps leaking more and more. I sure hope Rupert gets time. I would be fitting for all the Evil he has nurtured and committed!!

diosnomeama | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:27 pm 2

Well, why would Fox “reporters” want to anger the guy who keeps them in cheap eyeliner and unlimited amounts of hair gel?

Elliott | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:29 pm 3
In response to diosnomeama @ 2

there you have it

PeasantParty | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:32 pm 4

Certain GOP NeoCons want it all to go away. In fact, they feel the FBI and Congress should just faggettaboutit!


LOL! He just told on himself. Every time one of these jerks speaks out first against what should be the right thing, he is always involved!

Jane Hamsher | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:35 pm 5

Oh my.

Well Rupert, too bad for you this happened when there was a D in the White House and not an R. I imagine things will not go well for you when the party you’re trying to destroy is in charge of prosecution. May your long list of enemies be the wind at their back.

I think we finally found something good to say about party politics. Of the opposition kind, of course.

Elliott | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:35 pm 6

He sure is pretty.

And I sure hope this leads to the end of the Murdoch Empire. I like thinking he’ll spend the rest of his days hounded by this.

Ro-Man XP47 | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:37 pm 7

Oh, pleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleezpleez…

KellyCanfieldDenver | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:38 pm 8

Is it not delicious irony that Jude was en route through the US to start work on a film called “I Heart Huckabees”?


vegasboomer | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:38 pm 9

Fox News is in Full Waaaahhhmbulance mode, complaining that Obama’s DOJ is going to unfairly use this dustup as an excuse to take them down.

Mauimom | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:41 pm 10
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 5

Yeah, but Jane, that’s this “Democrat” [Obama] who’s in the WH.

Can you really imagine Holder going after Murdoch, no matter the level of his illegalities?

perrylogan | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:43 pm 11

Fox News must be closed down immediately. This is fun.

Mauimom | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:44 pm 12
In response to Mauimom @ 10

[Dammit, where's the edit function?]

Originally comment #10 said, “But Jane, Obama is the “Democrat” in the WH. Can you really imagine Holder going after Murdoch, no matter the level of his illegalities?

Shadowstalker | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:44 pm 13
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 5

I don’t know….more likely they’ll go all bipartisany and try to be the grownups in the room and just say nothing. Rupert does, after all, own a corporation, and in corporations we trust.

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:45 pm 14

WAIT a second… I thought warrantless wiretapping was legal?!?!

JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:45 pm 15
In response to Mauimom @ 10

Exactly. Obama STILL hasn’t gone after any of the financial giants who caused the great recession.

Can Obama be trusted to do the obvious thing here and go after Rupert? Or will he refuse as an olive branch to right wingers, who will then take a giant dump on him anyway?

Perhaps this thing is going to get so big that Obama can’t ignore it, even though he probably wants to. That’s probably how it’s going to go down. It just keeps getting more sordid if that’s possible.

JaneaneTheAcerbicGoblin | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:46 pm 16

David Cameron, a conservative prime minister, has already distanced himself from Murdoch.

Obama will probably try and waltz with him to be bipartisany.

donbacon | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:48 pm 17

Obama may crack down on illegal wiretapping!
No, not by Americans. Others.
I never did trust those Aussies.
That would make two, counting Assange (via his American accomplice).

nahant | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:49 pm 18

Any one watching our ladies team??

nahant | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:52 pm 19

GOAL!!!! Abby!!!

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:55 pm 20

Maybe Rupe found the undisclosed location, visited FISA and proved to the court that Jude is obviously a terrorist! I mean… promoting peace! That runs contrary to Obomba’s foreign policy. So it’s clearly unAmerican!

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:59 pm 21

Sorry… this was supposed to be the link and I can’t edit.

Phoenix Woman | Sunday July 17, 2011 01:59 pm 22

Up to this point Rupert’s been trying to insulate his TV fiefdom from his doomed print-media fiefdom.

But that strategy may be about to collapse, as longstanding allegations that Murdoch employee (and former Nixonite and former RNC chair) Roger Ailes phone hacked US citizens for FOX News are coming to the fore:

“Has Roger Ailes been keeping tabs on your phone calls?”

That’s how Portfolio.com began a post back in 2008, when a former Fox News executive charged that Ailes had outfitted a highly secured “brain room” in Fox’s New York headquarters for “counterintelligence” and may have used it to hack into private phone records.


But rumors have floated in the press and on the Internet about possible phone hacking in that special-security-clearance-only bunker at Fox HQ for years.

Dan Cooper was one of the people who helped create the Fox News channel with Roger Ailes, and was fired in 1996. In 2008, Cooper wrote on his website that David Brock [who later walked totally away from the conservative movement and is now head of Media Matters -- PW] had used him as an anonymous, on-background-only source for an Ailes profile he was writing for New York magazine. Before the piece was published, on November 17, 1997, Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client–or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust. Cooper continued: 

“I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:08 pm 23
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 22

To be serious for one moment, I do recall a story from a maybe five years ago. It was about cell phone companies selling records. To be specific, one could purchase the list of all phone numbers called by a customer of a cell phone company. In other words, you could pay cell phone companies to give you the list of all phone numbers that I called.

And it was either totally legal or cell phones were simply cutting edge technology that was ahead of law / regs.

Can anyone speak to this? I don’t have time to google it right now…

I also recall Congress talking about addressing that, but don’t know if they ever did.

Anyway, I think at some point during the past decade it was entirely possible for Fox (or others) to obtain phone records (not actual conversations) and not be breaking the law.

BooRadley | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:08 pm 24

Pass the popcorn.

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:09 pm 25

I think people were buying phone records, particularly in relation to divorces / cheating, etc.

spanishinquisition | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:22 pm 26
In response to TimWhite @ 23

You’re thinking of this:
Seeing how the allegations date back to 2003, I’m not really sure that much could be done as the laws did change until years later as a result of the HP incident.

TimWhite | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:37 pm 27
In response to spanishinquisition @ 26

the Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act of 2006 now makes it illegal to purchase this type of information, of course unless you are listed as the owner of the phone and account.

I have no clue if the website is credible, but this statement jibes with both my memory and SpInq’s comment.

So it’s possible that Fox purchased phone records before 2006 in an extralegal fashion. But a 2008 post suggests that the interview in question happened entirely after the 2006 law.

dyanisme | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:39 pm 28
In response to Elliott @ 6

“He sure is pretty.”………. Indeed, he is.

tambershall | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:47 pm 29
In response to dyanisme @ 28

So prettyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy …
that he cheated on his pregnant wife …
so prettyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy …
almost makes me forget he’s a total douche

tambershall | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:51 pm 30

No one will be prosecuted.
Every one can calm down.
He and his son will “step down” and control everything from behind the scenes “barely” surviving on their billions. Poor Rupert. How will he survive?
Quite well.

No prison time. The FBI is like the CIA, fully owned by the rich and corporations, just like the government. Governments are just people. Buy the people and buy the government.

There will be no prison time. Some Congress hearings kabuki BS. That’s all. Until the peons forget. When is American Idol/[insert reality TV show here starting?

roydavis | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:53 pm 31

If our government can do it without any judicial oversight, why can’t anyone? Is “judicial” the only kind of oversight? Can anyone name another?

In the FOX NEWS clip, reporters openly admit they will not touch it. Does anyone need another reason to ban Murdoch from owning ANY news outlet? On the other hand, we have also seen NBC and affiliate show “restraint” when covering GE and related companies, so is it only Americans who are easily cowed into avoiding the truth?

Elliott | Sunday July 17, 2011 02:56 pm 32
In response to tambershall @ 29

well, there is that

Glackin | Sunday July 17, 2011 03:10 pm 33

To hell with shutting down his empire, can we revoke his citizenship?
They did it to Luciano.
They could charge him with impersonating a govt. official.
They’re the only ones who get to wire-tap in the US of A!

Margaret | Sunday July 17, 2011 03:21 pm 34

Pffft! I’m sure a few well placed “campaign contributions” will smooth it all over.

timncguy | Sunday July 17, 2011 03:40 pm 35

I thought it has been reported that since News Corp is a US corporation, the crimes taking place in the UK were prosecutable here in the US also.

panther45 | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:05 pm 36

Unfortunately I’m not sure he has a case. The phone might have been in the USA. But the messages were all on the UK network. I could stand to be corrected.

KellyCanfieldDenver | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:15 pm 37
In response to panther45 @ 36

From the first link:

Using information allegedly gleaned by hacking into Law’s mobile phone voicemail as he waited in the baggage reclaim hall, the paper told how the actor had sent Mr Jackson ahead to check for waiting photographers, with instructions to ring him if it was safe to emerge.

The story continued: “The star … refused to leave the baggage reclaim hall until Ben had spent 20 minutes scouring the arrivals lounge. Ben rang Jude on his mobile to confirm the coast was clear.”

The baggage reclaim hall is in NYC. The messages back and forth from Jude Law and his assistant had to have been delivered and transmitted via cell/radio to the PSTN (Publicly Switched Telephone Network) which all US cell calls do.

Further, the PSTN delivered the signals in the form of recorded voice mail back to the UK based account – this didn’t happen by miracle radio signals all the way across the Atlantic, and most likely by rented capacity from VZ or Sprint to get back to England based telephony servers.

Nope, no matter how you slice it, US based telephone conversations/messages were hacked. Totally indictable here.

Elliott | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:20 pm 38
In response to KellyCanfieldDenver @ 37

*fingers crossed!*

jo6pac | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:34 pm 39
In response to tambershall @ 30

Yep,sad isn’t but then again my fav tv shows about to start;)

onitgoes | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:52 pm 40
In response to KellyCanfieldDenver @ 37

Totally indictable here.

Yeah, sure. Indictable if YOU or I did it, but if “Sir” Rupert did it???? Not so sure. The triffling piffle that is the so-called “rule of law” these days mos def don’t apply to MOTU like “Sir” Rupert, methinks.

Not that I wouldn’t love to see Murdoch being prosecuted to the fullest extent… but I tend to live in reality these days.

At best, Rupert will be “forced” to step down, and then the show will go on with Murdoch continuing to pull the strings, just from behind a different set of curtains.

KellyCanfieldDenver | Sunday July 17, 2011 04:57 pm 41
In response to onitgoes @ 40

Remains to be seen.

The UK did arrest Rebekah Brooks today, and the Metropolitan (Chief of Police) of London resigned today, after admitting some bribe-a-liciousness and hiring a News of the World goon for London Police PR work.

Murdoch’s influence is unravelling – to what end/degree remains to be seen, but for sure, he does not have the influence today he had 6 months ago.

punaise | Sunday July 17, 2011 05:01 pm 42

Rue Part Merde (in the) Dock.

anothergreenbus | Sunday July 17, 2011 05:45 pm 43

I’m with you, Janeane.
I’ll believe it when I see it. If you’re a realpolitik kinda guy like Obama, you just might find a wounded Murdock useful, especially when the professional left is hassling you all the time.

tsuki | Sunday July 17, 2011 06:09 pm 44
In response to Jane Hamsher @ 5

Are you so sure Place Holder will take action?

anothergreenbus | Sunday July 17, 2011 06:15 pm 45

A few observations:

1. Remember a guy named Karl Rove? Rove is completely intertwined with FOX. It begs credulity to assume that there were no nefarious activities linking Rove’s brand of criminality and Murdock’s brand of criminality.
2. Remember the guy named Dick. Dick was also completely intertwined with Murdock. Didn’t Larry Craig make Dick mad? How did they know Larry would show up in that bathroom?
3. Remember a guy named W? Didn’t his cousin at FOX call the election early in 2000? How strange is that?
4. It would seem that Bush/Cheney outsourced domestic spying to Rupert Murdock and Roger Ailes for political purposes. Murdock and Ailes used it to build their media empire.

Once you start looking back, turning over stones, using current information, everything seems to stink to high heaven (again).

yellowsnapdragon | Sunday July 17, 2011 06:20 pm 46
In response to anothergreenbus @ 45

Remember the UN getting tapped?

garysfbcn | Sunday July 17, 2011 06:32 pm 47

You are all wrong. SCOTUS will rule that this is nothing more than a corporation using it’s newly defined “corporate freedom of speech” to do this.

I am wondering if this recent ruling will make any difference:

In 2007, the state of Vermont passed a law forbidding the data mining of prescription drug records (i.e., which drugs are being prescribed and how frequently) for marketing purposes. But earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Vermont law interferes with drug makers’ right to free speech.

The law had been intended to protect the privacy of doctors and patients, but six of the Supremes said Big Pharma’s right to hone its marketing pitches is more important.


Regardless, I guess that I am glad that they are getting nailed.

Regards to the Kelster.

KellyCanfieldDenver | Sunday July 17, 2011 06:42 pm 48
In response to garysfbcn @ 47

Hey! Besos to you & yer hunny!

Slide me some tapas, baby!

Knut | Sunday July 17, 2011 07:12 pm 49

The story in the UK is breaking faster even than Watergate, which played out over four to five months. The US part so far is an afterthought. Rupert doesn`t have the same kind of prise on the British justice system as he does in the United States. Losing in the UK, though, makes him vulnerable here. What we are seeing so fr is the tip of the iceberg. The question is whether British citizens are going to see how they were pawned by the press and their politicians. My guess is they will. In America, not so much.

gannonguckert | Sunday July 17, 2011 09:37 pm 50

I think one has to credit CNN with having done some actual journamalism.

If we note that Times of London, Sunday Times, and Sky News are covering the story, with even WSJ putting it on the front page (at least on Crisis Day Mega-M), but essentially nothing on Faux News, it seems there is a strategy not to tell the lower half of American society, i.e., the tea-tards, cuz then the teatards might come out in vociferous defense of Faux, which would badly hurt NewsCorps desire to look responsible in front of the powers that be on Wall Street, etc…

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post