Free press groups petition Attorney General on behalf of journalist James Risen

Emily Grannis | Newsgathering | News | August 14, 2014
August 14, 2014

More than 100,000 people, including 20 Pulitzer Prize winners, signed a petition submitted to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder today urging the administration to rethink its policy of subpoenaing journalists to reveal their sources.

Seven representatives of free press organizations announced the delivery of the petition at the National Press Club this afternoon and called on the administration to drop its threatened subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen.

Risen has been fighting since 2007 to protect a confidential source he used in writing a book about the Central Intelligence Agency, and he joined the panel at the press conference today.

Sen. Wyden speaks out against new policy restricting access to intelligence sources

Bradleigh Chance | Newsgathering | News | June 18, 2014
June 18, 2014

On the Senate floor this week Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised new statutory protections for intelligence agency whistleblowers, but expressed concerns with a new policy created by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that punishes intelligence agency employees for talking to the press.

Wyden worked with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to include the new whistleblower protections in a provision in the 2014 Intelligence Authorization bill, which passed unanimously Wednesday evening, but Wyden’s success with the bill is overshadowed by his frustrations with a new policy from the DNI.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy; guilty of violating Espionage Act

Nicole Lozare | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 30, 2013
July 30, 2013

A military judge on Monday acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy – the most serious of charges he faced for releasing thousands of classified documents to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks – but guilty of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act.

The sentencing hearing for the 25-year-old is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at a courtroom in Fort Meade, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C. The former low-level intelligence analyst faces up to 136 years in a military prison for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Attorney General Holder's report to President adopts stronger protection for news media

Nicole Lozare | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 12, 2013
July 12, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder today submitted a 7-page report to President Obama listing recommendations for revisions to guidelines on subpoenas to the news media. The report follows recent news of the subpoena of media phone records and a search warrant for a reporter's email account in the Justice Department’s pursuit of leakers of classified material.

Judge rules D.C. detective was wrongly punished for speaking to reporter

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | February 14, 2013
February 14, 2013

A Washington, D.C., judge found that the Metropolitan Police Department’s media policy is constitutional, but how the department enforced it against a detective who spoke out against it to a newspaper in 2009 was unlawful.

District Judge James Boasberg ruled that Detective William Hawkins did not break department rules when he talked to a Washington Post reporter because he spoke as a representative of a police union and not a member of the department.

Journalists assert reporter's privilege in whistleblower prosecution

Kristen Rasmussen | Reporter's Privilege | News | October 15, 2012
October 15, 2012

Update, Oct. 23: Kiriakou pleaded guilty today to one count of disclosing information identifying a covert agent and will likely be sentenced to two and a half years years imprisonment under a plea deal with prosecutors. As part of the agreement, the remaining four counts of the indictment, including three counts of violating the Espionage Act, were dismissed. Kiriakou is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Federal appellate court allows former prosecutor to investigate Detroit newspaper's government source

Amanda Simmons | Reporter's Privilege | News | June 27, 2012
June 27, 2012

A federal appeals court allowed a former Detroit prosecutor to continue investigating the identity of a source who leaked information about an internal ethics probe against him to a Pulitzer-Prize winning newspaper reporter. The decision, which was released Friday, overturns a district court’s ruling that threw out the case last year and now leaves a newspaper vulnerable to investigations eight years after a U.S. Department of Justice insider leaked information to the reporter.

New intelligence rules emphasize lie detectors, more investigators in effort to limit leaks to news media

Amanda Simmons | Newsgathering | News | June 27, 2012
June 27, 2012

In an attempt to "deter and detect" officials leaking information to news media organizations, the head of the country's intelligence community unveiled new measures on Monday, including lie detector tests and inspector general investigations, for preventing unauthorized disclosures.

Fourth Circuit to close portions of oral argument in Sterling case to the public

Andrea Papagianis | Newsgathering | News | April 19, 2012
April 19, 2012

Classified portions of oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. (4th Cir.) will be closed to the public in the government's case against ex-CIA official Jeffrey Sterling, who is charged with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information. Only arguments pertaining to the subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen will be heard in open court.

Former CIA operative John Kiriakou indicted by grand jury for leaking confidential information to journalists

Andrea Papagianis | Newsgathering | News | April 9, 2012
April 9, 2012

A federal grand jury handed down a five-count criminal indictment against former CIA intelligence officer John C. Kiriakou for allegedly disclosing confidential information to journalists on multiple occasions.