A former Fox News exec who helped launch the channel in 1996 claims the Rupert Murdoch-owned network has a "counter intelligence and black ops office" that may have engaged in a little phone hacking of its own. The New York "brain room," which most thought was just a research department, existed to gather information on those perceived as enemies of the channel, says Dan Cooper. Cooper says he helped design the unit, which was very high-security and had a guard at the door, the Telegraph reports.
Cooper says that after he left the channel and gave an anonymous quote to New York magazine for a 1997 article on Roger Ailes, he was threatened by Ailes—who, Cooper believes, must have gotten the confidential information by hacking into the phone records of the article's author. Cooper first made the allegations in 2005, and Fox News firmly denies his claims, noting that he was "terminated six weeks after the launch" of the channel. Meanwhile, another former exec says the network spied on staff, reading emails and creating an environment like that of "Russia at the height of the Soviet era."