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Associated Press

DOJ Secretly Taps Press Phone Records

· National News (psa 33:12) · No Comments
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In this April 18, 2013 file photo, Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Justice Department has secretly obtained two months of telephone records of journalists for The Associated Press in what AP’s top executive says is an unprecedented intrusion into newsgathering. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.

In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

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