This is sort of insane: The United States Justice Department has secretly obtained two months worth of phone records from Associated Press reporters and editors. The records contained incoming and outgoing calls and the duration of calls made via 20 different lines assigned to AP offices, and journalists’ home and cell phones. That’s a scarily large swath.
In a letter to the AP, the DOJ apparently offered no explanation for the seizure. The AP’s CEO and president, Gary Pruitt, responded with his own letter, protesting the DOJ’s actions:
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.
Sadly, the saying “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention” never seems more relevant than now.