The U.S. Justice Department’s spying on the Associated Press was an underhanded act that ought to frighten everyone. Rather than ask the news agency for information about alleged leaks of national security information, the department ignored its own guidelines and went straight to the phone companies with wide-ranging subpoenas. Here’s the specific Justice Department rule in such cases: “Negotiations with the affected member of the news media shall be pursued in all cases in which a subpoena for the telephone toll records of any member of the news media is contemplated where the responsible Assistant Attorney General determines that such negotiations would not pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation in connection with which the records are sought”/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.
Question: Is a federal shield law needed in this country?