deadlines amuse me

exploring how the world works and why it works that way …

Archive for May 23rd, 2013

How to stop journalists: Say they might be criminals

leave a comment »

If you’re the guv’mint, and you want a journalist’s notes, emails, phone records, and such, and you don’t want to get a subpoena ’cause the journalist would be notified, no problemo.

Just cite Espionage Act. (All the while ignoring the Privacy Protection Act of 1980 that affords protections for journalists’ work products during criminal investigations.) Just tell a judge that the journalist is possibly a criminal. Tell the judge you think the journalist is a crook.

That’s how the U.S. Department of Justice nabbed the emails of James Rosen, a Washington correspondent for Fox News, following his reporting on North Korea based in part, it appears, on leaks. Writes Rob Tricchinelli of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

The affidavits said that Rosen potentially committed a crime. By labeling him a “co-conspirator,” the Justice Department was able to fit into an exception to the PPA and proceed without getting a subpoena for the materials, which would have likely required giving notice to Rosen. … Media groups have spoken out against the DOJ’s investigation into Rosen, saying that the investigation improperly implies criminal activity taking place within ordinary news gathering.

Tricchinelli reports that the guv’mint never intended to charge Rosen.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized