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DOJ to no longer seize reporters' phone records, emails

department of justice DOJ
Posted at 9:44 AM, Jun 07, 2021

The Justice Department says it will no longer secretly obtain reporters' phone records and emails.

This is something that's been going on for decades. 

On Saturday, the DOJ released a statement saying that after completing a review of pending requests for reporters’ records, that in the future, they “will not seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from members of the news media doing their jobs," CNN reported.

Both Democratic and Republican administrations have used court orders to obtain journalists' records to identify sources who have revealed classified information. 

But the practice has received renewed scrutiny after the DOJ revealed it tried to obtain email logs for four New York Times reporters during the last days of the Trump administration and into the Biden administration.

The phone records of three reporters with the Washington Post and a reporter for CNN were obtained secretly by officials with former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department over three months in 2017.

Katherine Biek with Newsy first reported this story.