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AP Reporters Information Hoovered Up By DOJ
AP Calls it a 'Massive and Unprecedented Intrusion'
by Karl Bode 09:18AM Tuesday May 14 2013 Tipped by NOCTech75 See Profile
The Justice Department is under fire for obtaining two months of telephone records for twenty different lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press. Said data included phone numbers, names, calls made, and potentially call duration. The AP was informed of the data collection last Friday after the data was already obtained, and is calling the snooping a "massive and unprecedented intrusion."

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It's not entirely clear what the government was after, but the AP speculates that the DOJ is looking for a source who leaked details of a failed terror plot in an AP story on May 7, 2012. In doing so, they've triggered what will be a public relations and legal firestorm -- especially given the news comes as the IRS this week is under fire for targeting nonprofit groups critical of the government.

It was already made clear that a supposedly left-leaning Obama administration wasn't at all that left leaning given their disregard for wiretap laws and their relentless assault on whistleblowers, and this rather ham-fisted trampling of the Constitution and the rights of the press to protect its sources only makes that clearer still.

"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," AP CEO Gary Pruitt said in a letter to the DOJ.

Granted in an age where all data and conversations are tapped in real time with the help of the nation's carriers, sadly the only thing surprising about this is that the Associated Press was informed at all. As I've noted time and time again, the press generally operates with little context in discussing privacy issues -- responding hysterically when a small company like NebuAD or CarrierID snoops into your iPhone, but often somewhat apathetically when yet more evidence of real-time, massive carrier warrantless wiretaps are unearthed.

Perhaps this gobbling up of AP reporter information will result in a press that's slightly more attentive to the fact that we've got a serious, bipartisan problem on our hands -- and one that seriously impacts them as well.

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Hamilton, OH

2 recommendations


Under Bush the headline would have been "Bush Administration Taps AP Phone Lines". Obama already got a pass on this one.


Bel Air, MD

2 recommendations

More Bothered By Obama comment now

It is our job as American citizens to hold our government responsible. And when that government fears losing and starts doing everything to protect its power, including violating the very founding documents of our land, that is when its time to revolt. And for government to "reject those voices" who speak of government tyranny, I point to this story, the IRS, AT&T/Verizon/Sprint cooperation, and more like it. Government from the get go can't be trusted by the very fact that they hold all the cards.

Below is the part of the graduation speech President Obama gave that irks me.

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

Mechanicsville, VA

2 recommendations


How this kind of news is never reported in the MSM until it hapens to them...