US Government ‘Seized AP Phone Records’

04c Freedom Of PressVia Al Jazeera:

The US government reportedly secretly seized telephone records of reporters and offices belonging to Associated Press news agency for a two-month period last year, the agency has said.

The Associated Press on Monday described the action, which targeted its correspondents, as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news-gathering operations.

AP Chief Executive Gary Pruitt, in a letter posted on the agency’s website, said the AP was informed last Friday that the Justice Department gathered records for more than 20 phone lines assigned to the agency and its reporters.

“There can be no possible justification for such an over-broad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Pruitt said in the letter, which was addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder.

An AP story on the records seizure said the government would not say why it sought the records.

But it noted that US officials have previously said the US Attorney’s Office was conducting a criminal investigation into information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaeda plot to detonate a bomb on a plane bound for the US.

In testimony made in February, CIA Director John Brennan noted that the FBI had questioned him about whether he was AP’s source, which he denied.

He called the release of the information to the media about the terror plot an “unauthorised and dangerous disclosure of classified information”.

Read more here.

4 Comments on "US Government ‘Seized AP Phone Records’"

  1. Not really a question here. It was predestined the minute people imagined that giving unprecedented powers of surveillance and seizure to a government whose actions constantly contradict law would somehow work out okay. Acting surprised now only looks silly. “Sure…we’ll only use these powers to catch terrorists…in extreme circumstances…like Jack Bauer on 24. We promise!” Anyone who actually defended that state of mind deserves to be reeling in horror now. And it wasn’t really a shocker that the target seems to be whistleblowers…crushing leaks has been a decades long priority of federal authorities…and now they’ve been handed new tools to accomplish that goal. Should we be outraged? Yes. Astonished that it can happen here? No.

  2. MountainHome | May 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

    If AP Press can be secretly invaded by the DOJ then each of us are easy targets by the government.
    A TIME TO STAND by Oliver is a book that needs to be read as it’s about what our govt. is doing to each of us & decent citizens who take a stand so I recommend it.
    NSA has been monitoring us for years (probably decades) so the question is what can we do? We sure can’t go to our member of congress as they are all branches of the same tree.

  3. InfvoCuernos | May 14, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

    I’m aghast. The US government spying on us?!??! What’s next, a camera in your pocket that can record and transmit audio and video anywhere? Secret robot planes that can stay on station circling for days before striking? At least we can count on the police to protect us.

  4. It’s funny how the government has been doing this for at least a decade to its citizens and the mainstream press didn’t actually care until it happened to them.

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