What's at Stake When the Department of Justice Seizes AP Phone Records
The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act of 1917 – a 96-year-old law that was written to target spies, not journalists' sources – than all previous administrations combined. Reporters (sometimes thinly anonymized as "Reporter A") often show up in these indictments, says Radack, a fact that she believes "should have been a wake-up call."
On Monday, the AP revealed that the phone records seized by the DOJ could bring over 100 employees who use those phone lines under the scope of the investigation – which appears to be focused on a single AP story, from May 7th, 2012. The story reported that the CIA disrupted an al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula plot to blow up an airliner, though it later came out that the plot was actually a sting set-up. In recently confirmed CIA director John Brennan's words, "We had inside control of the plot and the device was never a threat to the American public." | Rolling Stone
- Justice Department's pursuit of AP's phone records is both extreme and dangerous (guardian.co.uk)
Associated Press on Monday revealed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) "secretly obtained two months of telephone records of [its] reporters and editors", denouncing it as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into the news gathering process. In a letter sent yesterday to Attorney General Eric Holder, AP's President, Gary Pruitt, detailed that the phone records cover more than 20 telephone lines used by AP journalists, including their homes, offices and cell phones. He said the phones for which the DOJ obtained records also include ones at the AP bureaus in New York City, Washington DC, Hartford, and at the House of Representatives.
- Associated Press Phone Records Seized by DOJ: Is That Legal?