In 2017, the US Department of Justice secretly confiscated the phone records of four New York Times reporters. This newspaper reported on Wednesday (local time).
Telephone records were deposited over a four-month period as part of an investigation into a leak related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Tracker.
This didn’t just happen in the New York Times. Last month, Biden’s Department of Justice did a job Trump-era seizures are known from the phone records of Washington Post reporters and telephone and email records of a CNN reporter.
“Silencing the Sources”
Dean Paquet, editor-in-chief of the New York Times, condemns the Trump administration’s action. “Confiscation of journalists’ phone records severely undermines press freedom,” he said in a statement. “It threatens to silence the sources we rely on to provide the public with vital information about what the government is doing.”
News media and constitutional freedom of expression advocates in the United States have long criticized attempts by US governments to access journalists’ communications data in order to discover leaks. According to critics, this would unduly restrict press freedom.
President Joe Biden said last month, after revealing the seizures to The Washington Post and CNN, that he would never allow such actions by the Justice Department during his tenure. He described it as “simply wrong”.