U.S. Department Of Justice Secretly Obtains AP News Agency Phone Records, Journalists React On Twitter

by
Fatimah Mazhar
The multinational news agency revealed on Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice secretly obtained telephone communication records of Associated Press (AP) offices and reporters for a two-month period in 2012, describing the acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.

AP News Agency

The multinational news agency revealed on Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice secretly obtained telephone communication records of Associated Press (AP) offices and reporters for a two-month period in 2012, describing the acts as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering operations.

In protest to the extreme breach of journalistic privacy, the President and Chief Executive of AP Gary B. Pruitt sent a letter to Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States saying that there couldn’t be no justification whatsoever to extract communication information of a news agency without prior notice. Pruitt also demanded the DOJ to hand over the obtained phone records and burn all copies.

AP News Agency

This whole controversy sort of reminds one of the political tyranny exercised by the Chinese communist government on its national media. Doesn’t it?

Journalists across the U.S. condemned the government’s move to snoop on the news agency and stealing confidential information.  Following are the different reactions posted by different people from the media:

BuzzFeed:

The New York Times:

The Washington Post:

The Huffington Post:

Other writers and bloggers:

Referring to the recent wiretapping laws adopted by the Obama administration one Salon columnist rightfully posted:

This controversial move taken by the U.S. Department of Justice has made its role questionable in the eyes of people, especially journalists. Even if it wanted to extract information, it should’ve informed the news agency beforehand as per ethics. But it didn’t, and now it’s in trouble.

What do you have to say about the whole situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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