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Justice Dept. says it'll no longer seize reporters' records

Justice Department
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-05 17:50:04-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it no longer will secretly obtain reporters’ records during leak investigations.

It's a policy shift that abandons a practice long decried by news organizations and press freedom groups.

The reversal follows a pledge last month by President Joe Biden, who said it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize journalists’ records. He said his Justice Department would halt the practice.

The tactic was used by Democratic and Republican administrations alike in an effort to identify sources who revealed classified information to journalists.

The policy had received renewed scrutiny over the past month as Justice Department officials alerted reporters at three different news organizations that their phone records had been obtained.