(Washington) U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland restrained his teams from using warrants or court summonses.
“The judiciary will no longer use mandatory legal procedures to obtain media members’ data on information gathering activities,” Merrick Garland wrote in an order to federal prosecutors.
The new rule also applies to the dissemination of classified information, he said.
However, there are some exceptions: if a journalist is suspected of committing an illegal act, for example, using a prohibited method such as infiltration, or infiltration of protected organizations; If the purpose is to prevent a serious act (kidnapping, assault, etc.).
To ensure that this action lasts over time, Merrick Garland calls on his services to review all the rules relating to journalists in order to encourage Congress to pass a law.
The order follows the revelation of a legal battle in which the administration of Donald Trump fraudulently obtained reporter emails New York Times In order to identify their sources.
CNN reported that the previous administration had secretly searched for and obtained the phone and email records of one of its reporters.
In the United States, leaking confidential information is illegal, and federal prosecutors have so far been able to obtain search warrants to locate the source.
Republican and Democratic administrations have in the past issued all sorts of saponies against journalists in this context. After a scandal in 2013, the Barack Obama administration created new rules and imposed a green light from senior judicial officials without abandoning any decree practice against journalists.