Lawsuit aims to uncover how government surveils journalists

What, if anything, is constraining the Trump Justice Department in its dangerous war on leakers, whistleblowers, and journalists? The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and Freedom of the Press Foundation are teaming up to find out. We filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department and several intelligence agencies, demanding records revealing how the government collects information on journalists and targets them with surveillance. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said criminal investigations into the sources of journalists are up 800 percent. He’s vowed to “revisit” the Justice Department’s media guidelines that restrict how the US government can conduct surveillance on reporters. President Trump reportedly told ex-FBI director James Comey to “jail” journalists. And so far, Sessions has refused to rule out imprisoning reporters for doing their jobs. Given these developments, “it is urgent that the government disclose records clarifying the precise limitations placed on its surveillance powers to protect the freedoms of speech, association, and the press,” our lawsuit states. “The public has a right to know those limitations and to know whether the government is in fact complying with them.”

Lawsuit aims to uncover how government surveils journalists Lawsuit seeks details of Trump administration’s policies on surveilling journalists (Washington Post)