The News International phone-hacking scandal is a controversy involving the now defunct News of the World and other British newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of the then News Corporation. Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police bribery, and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of stories. Whilst investigations conducted from 2005 to 2007 appeared to show that the paper's phone hacking activities were limited to celebrities, politicians and members of the British Royal Family, in July 2011 it was revealed that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings had also been hacked. The resulting public outcry against News Corporation and its owner Rupert Murdoch led to several high-profile resignations, including that of Murdoch himself as News Corporation director, Murdoch's son James as executive chairman, Dow Jones chief executive Les Hinton, News International legal manager Tom Crone and chief executive Rebekah Brooks. The commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police Service, Sir Paul Stephenson, also resigned. Advertiser boycotts led to the closure of the News of the World on 10 July 2011, after 168 years of publication. Continued public pressure shortly forced News Corporation to cancel its proposed takeover of the British satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
British prime minister David Cameron announced on 6 July 2011 that a public inquiry, known as the Leveson Inquiry, would look into phone hacking and police bribery by the News of the World, consider the wider culture and ethics of the British newspaper industry and that the Press Complaints Commission would be replaced "entirely". A number of arrests and convictions followed, most notably of the former News of the World managing editor Andy Coulson.
Murdoch and his son, James, were summoned to give evidence at the Leveson Inquiry. Over the course of his testimony, Rupert Murdoch admitted that a cover-up had taken place within the News of the World to hide the scope of the phone hacking. On 1 May 2012, a parliamentary select committee report concluded that Murdoch "exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications," and stated that he was "not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company." On 3 July 2013, Channel 4 News broadcast a secret tape in which Murdoch dismissively claims that investigators were "totally incompetent" and acted over "next to nothing", and excuses his papers' actions as "part of the culture of Fleet Street."