Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown upped the stakes today in the developing scandal over Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid hacking scandal:
On Tuesday, Mr. Brown accused The Sunday Times — owned by News International, the British subsidiary of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation — of employing “known criminals” to gather personal information on his bank account, legal files and “other files — documentation, tax and everything else.”
“I think that what happened pretty early on in government is that the Sunday Times appear to have got access to my building society account, they got access to my legal files, there is some question mark about what happened to other files — documentation, tax and everything else,” Mr. Brown, who was Britain’s Labour prime minister from 2007 to 2010 after serving for a decade as chancellor of the Exchequer, told the BBC on Tuesday.
“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 working with the Sunday Times,” Mr. Brown said.
Unlike News of the World, the Sunday Times is a relatively prestigious newspaper, and that the illegal activity extends to all branches of the Murdoch Empire means he and his deputies are effectively setting top-down policy that encourages hacking in the name of “journalism.”