Feds probe digital TV piracy furor

Tuesday, 8 October 2002, 2:26 PM EST

The Justice Department is investigating allegations that a company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. hacked a rival's protection technology and distributed the information on the Internet.

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego served employees of NDS Americas, Inc. in Newport Beach with 31 subpoenas for documents last week, officials said Monday.

The Justice inquiry mirrors claims made earlier this year in a federal lawsuit filed in San Jose by Vivendi Universal's Paris-based Canal Plus Group, NDS said in a statement. Justice officials declined comment.

In a statement, NDS called the allegations "baseless" and blamed them on rivals seeking to harm the company. NDS officials said they intend to cooperate fully with federal investigators.

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