2013 May 13

Associated Press Denounces Justice Department Demand for Records


In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the Associated Press protested the “massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of The Associated Press.” A few days before, the AP had received a letter from the Justice Department notifying it that the department had obtained telephone calling logs for more than 20 separate AP phone lines for a period of two months in 2012. The records were in connection with a 2012 leak involving a foiled bomb plot in Yemen. The subpoena was controversial because the department did not provide any advance notice to the Associated Press, which would have allowed it to negotiate or challenge it in court.

The incident highlighted the fact that, under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Holder, the Justice Department had investigated more alleged leaks than any previous presidential administration.

The Associated Press Letter: “There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

Learn more about freedom of the presshttp://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/press

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