The Justice Department on Wednesday formally banned the use of subpoenas, warrants or court orders to seize reporters’ communications records or demand their notes or testimony in an effort to uncover confidential sources in leak investigations, reports Charlie Savage for the Washington Post.
The decision does not apply to situations in which a reporter is under investigation for something unconnected to news gathering, situations in which a member of the news media is deemed an agent of a foreign power or a member of a foreign terrorist group, or “when necessary to prevent an imminent or concrete risk of death or serious bodily harm.”
The Justice Department is also said to have removed espionage from a list of criminal activities that are excluded from protected news gatherings as well as criminal acts “committed in the course of obtaining information or using information.”
Read the Attorney General’s announcement here.
The new reegulations are listed here.