AG Revises Rules for Investigating Journalists

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. promised tough new restrictions on the seizure of journalists’ phone records and emails, backing off from the Obama’ administration’s aggressive use of secret court orders to obtain news media records as part of investigations into leaks of government secrets. Knoxnews reports that under the new rules, prosecutors in nearly all cases will be required to give news organizations advance notice before seeking records of contacts between reporters and their sources. That will give a news organization time to challenge the demand for records in court. Moreover, the Justice Department will be forbidden from using search warrants to obtain records from reporters except in cases where the reporter is the target of a criminal investigation not involving news gathering.