Breaking News

AP Criticizes Seizure of Telephone Records by U.S. Government
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

On Monday, the Associated Press said that the U.S. government had secretly accessed and seized telephone records of AP reporters and offices over a two-month period last year. In a letter posted on their website, AP CEO Gary Pruitt said that AP was informed only last Friday that the DOJ had collected records of more than 20 phone lines of the agency and also that of its reporters.

Terming the government action as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into freedom of the press in gathering news, Pruitt said in his letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, “There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of the Associated Press and its reporters.”

Pruitt also stressed “that the government has no right to know” about private news gathering operations.

  
What
Where


However, prosecutors are known to have obtained subpoenas directed at more than 20 telephone lines to track the leak of a CIA operation that stopped an al Qaeda attempt to bomb an airplane bound for U.S. The attack was scheduled to coincide with the death anniversary of Osama bin Laden.

Associated Press published the story on May 7, 2012, raising concerns in government circles about who leaked the sensitive information to the press.

Attorney General Eric Holder had commented last June over the issue that “The unauthorized disclosure of classified information can compromise the security of this country and all Americans, and it will not be tolerated.”

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




While the administration has been worried about classified government information leaking out to the wrong people – tracking 20 phone lines of the AP for over two months and over a single leak investigation does seem “unprecedented.”

The media seems resigned to the fact, and as Gregg Leslie, legal defense director with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press admitted, “We’ve given up thinking they might respect the role of the press.”



While the American Civil Liberties Union termed the government action as “an unacceptable abuse of power,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia said in a statement, “Because we value the freedom of the press, we are always careful and deliberative in seeking to strike the right balance between the public interest in the free flow of information and the public interest in the fair and effective administration of our criminal laws.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, which notified AP of the collection of phone records, also observed that the government was not required to notify media organizations in advance about seizure of records to maintain, “integrity of the investigation.”

The subpoenas were not meant to tap phones, but to obtain phone logs which are, at present, not considered as property of the users, but of the phone company.

However, AP CEO Pruitt maintained that access of such phone logs and revealing of information can jeopardize private news gathering and expose confidential sources.



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Attorney - Civil Litigation

USA-OH-Columbus

Kemp, Schaeffer & Rowe Co., L.P.A., an established small law firm in Columbus, Ohio, is seeking a fu...

Apply now

Family Law Attorney

USA-WI-Milwaukee

Karp & Iancu, S.C. is looking to hire a family law attorney ASAP. Join one of the fastest growi...

Apply now

Assistant General Counsel, OGC

USA-DC-Washington

  Works efficiently and collaboratively with in-house business and technology personnel, pri...

Apply now

Paralegal / Legal Assistant with Real Estate Title/Closing Experience

USA-FL-Lakeland

Seeking a candidate with the following qualifications: Paralegal or legal assistant with two o...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Litigation Attorney

USA-TX-San Antonio

San Antonio office of our client seeks litigation attorney with 5+ years of insurance and 3rd party ...

Apply Now

Construction Litigation Attorney

USA-OR-Portland

Portland office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks mid-level construction litigation...

Apply Now

Senior Transactional Counsel

USA-CA-Long Beach

Long Beach office of our client seeks senior counsel with 10+ years of experience. The candidate wil...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top