The Associated Press revealed on Monday that the justice department, without informing the organization in advance, had obtained two months’ worth of phone records of calls made by reporters and editors. Lawyers for AP said the records, which the justice department appears to have obtained from the phone companies earlier this year, listed every call made by about 100 AP reporters between April and May last year. AP described it as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into newsgathering operations.
This kind of snooping by our government is an intrusion on the freedom of the press and presents a dangerous precedent. AP’s president and CEO described it as a “serious interference with AP’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.” I am sure more details are about to come out as hearings take place, but we support the AP and many other journalistic organizations in their efforts to mitigate the current issue and prevent this overreach in the future. Here is the story from PBS NewsHour: