"Justice Department Curtails Seizure Of Reporters’ Phone, Email Records"

"Attorney General Merrick Garland has sharply limited how and when prosecutors can secretly obtain reporters’ phone and email records, formalizing a Biden administration decree that the government would stop using secret orders and subpoenas for journalists’ data to hunt for leakers.

The memo says the department “will no longer use compulsory legal process for the purpose of obtaining information from or records of members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering activities.”

The previous Justice Department rules for using reporters’ data to pursue unauthorized disclosures of classified information were widely criticized by First Amendment advocates and members of Congress, who said they gave free rein to prosecutors to secretly pursue such records if they thought telling the news organization in question might harm an investigation."

Devlin Barrett reports for the Washington Post July 19, 2021.


"Memo: Use Of Compulsory Process To  Obtain Information From, Or Records Of, Members Of The News Media" (Justice Dept.)

"Garland Tells Prosecutors Not To Seize Reporters’ Records" (New York Times)

"Department of Justice Adopts New Restrictions On Obtaining Journalists' Records" (CNN)

"Justice Department Formally Limits Seizure Of Reporters’ Records" (CNBC)

"Justice Dept. Limits Federal Government's Ability To Obtain Journalists' Communications Secretly" (NBC News)

"Attorney General Merrick Garland Restricts Efforts To Seize Reporters' Records" (CBS News)

"Attorney General Sets New Limits For When The DOJ Can Seize Reporters' Records" (Politico)

"Justice Department Announces New Rules Limiting Seizure Of Journalists’ Phone And Email Records" (Deadline)

"DOJ Will No Longer Subpoena Reporters Engaged In Newsgathering" (ABC News)

"Reporters Committee Statement On Historic Justice Department Policy Barring News Media Records Seizures" (RCFP)

"CPJ Welcomes New US Rules Protecting Journalists’ Records" (Committee to Protect Journalists)

Source: Washington Post, 07/21/2021