AAN Joins Protest Against DOJ Subpoena of Associated Press Phone Records

AAN has signed on to a letter from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) protesting the Department of Justice’s broad subpoena of the Associated Press’ phone records.

“In the thirty years since the Department issued guidelines governing its subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for newsgathering materials was deployed by the Department, particularly without notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicial review,” the letter says.

Yesterday the AP reported that the Department of Justice had obtained records listing two months of outgoing calls on both the personal and work phone lines of AP reporters and editors:

In all, the government seized the 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 where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

AAN was among 52 media organizations — including the New York Times, NPR, Online News Association, and Society of Professional Journalists — to sign on to the RCFP letter.