A former executive who in 1996 helped launch Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, told the UK Telegraph that at the time Fox News had a high-security "black ops" department he called a "brain room" at its New York headquarters where employees carried out counterintelligence on the channel's enemies, including illegally hacking private telephone records. Former Fox News managing editor Dan Cooper said he helped design the unit, which employed 15 researchers who worked behind a guarded door. Another former Fox News senior executive who asked to have his name withheld told the Telegraph that the Fox Channel ran an internal "Soviet-Style" spying network tasked with reading the emails of Fox News staff to make sure they weren't leaking information to outside media. The channel denies all the allegations, and a spokesman for Fox News says Cooper was fired six weeks after the Fox News Channel was launched, and that he has "peddled these lies for the past 15 years." The FBI is currently investigating charges that journalists at a Murdoch-owned British newspaper, News of the World, may have tried to hack into 9/11 victims' phones. Both Mr. Cooper and the unnamed executive said they thought Mr. Ailes would not have let his reporters engage in such activities.
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