The Department of Justice gathered a wide swath of call records from the office phones of as many as 100 Associated Press reporters and the personal phones of some others, and the AP is steaming mad about it.
According to an AP report, the Justice Department seized records for around 20 Associated Press phone lines during April and May of last year. Those records include incoming and outgoing calls on those lines, as well as the duration of each call.
The AP called the record-gathering a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.” In a letter of protest to Attorney General Eric Holder, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt wrote:
“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.”