Monday, May 13, 2013

Obama Administration Secretly Spied on the Associated Press

Activist Post

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration have been spying on the Associated Press without their knowledge.

The establishment news service is typically viewed as a repeater of officialdom, so it came as a bit of a shock to the organization who called it a "massive and unprecedented intrusion."

AP reports:
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news. 
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP.
In all, the government seized those records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown but more than 100 journalists work in the offices whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

The Associated Press recently received a letter from the Department of Justice informing them of the 2012 seizure of phone records. The AP points out that they're not sure if the phones were illegally wiretapped or if the phone companies turned over the records at the government's request.
The records were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year although the government letter did not explain that. None of the information provided by the government to the AP suggested the actual phone conversations were monitored.
Still the CEO, Gary Pruitt, feels his organization was violated.

"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," Pruitt wrote in a response to Holder.

The AP writes that media companies are normally notified when the government wants phone records, and they usually comply.  But in this case the government waived the prior notification with cryptic reasoning that it may have "posed a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation":
News organizations normally are notified in advance that the government wants phone records and enter into negotiations over the desired information. In this case, however, the government, in its letter to the AP, cited an exemption to those rules that holds that prior notification can be waived if such notice, in the exemption's wording, might "pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation."
In other words, it seems like the AP is saying "you could have just asked and we probably would have given you what you needed."  Yet, the government is just saying "we'll do what we want, thanks."

Regardless, the AP has not seen a signed warrant or subpoena from the government, indicating that the DOJ was illegally spying on a major news organization. It appears no one is exempt from Big Brother's overreaches.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a great hour or so long video from the 1990's available on Youtube that is almost entirely assembled from clips of "off-air" time of politicians on media programs.

Back in those days having a satellite feed meant no commercials, you got to see and hear what was going on within the studio's during the commercial breaks.

It wasn't until the mid to late 90's that the media networks bought up pretty much all of the satellite companies and added commercials into the mix and got rid of that off-air time.

Anyways, in a few of the clips is discussed a special operations base established in Colorado in I think 1992 that specifically monitored all satellite feeds with off-air time.

In one clip Al Gore's wife is being informed that the Colorado monitoring base called and said she needed better lighting because there were shadows on her face... at which point the off-camera director(I assume) tells her about the whole operation.

Even Mrs. Gore seemed rather frightened by it... as the off-air director says "they're always watching".

The media and government may be in bed together but they are all a bunch of ruthless pricks so of course they would try to gain leverage any way possible.

The media can completely destroy a politician or even the government as a whole(or military, intelligence sector, etc.) so of course the government and politicians of their own accord will try to get as much leverage as possible to dissuade such attacks.

The people at the top are like hyena's - they may operate as a pack and work together for a common objective but they will also turn on each other and tear each other to shreds at the slightest provocation at times.

Especially if they smell blood... or big profits.

Peace,
Jonny

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Amerika. You now live in 1938 Germany

Anonymous said...

and down goes the freedom of press...

Anonymous said...

Yet when Bloomberg News spies on the criminal Goldman Sacks- THAT is a problem.

Anonymous said...

AP "gathers the news?" More like spew the corporate/government propaganda.

Anonymous said...

HEY! We didnt support you to spy on us!! You were only supposed to spy on THEM!!! HAHAHAHA......This is just too darn funny!

Mark McCandlish said...

What's that old saying? You know the one... When they came for the Blacks I said nothing. Then they came for the Jews and again... I said nothing. Then they came for the Conservatives and by then I was too frightened and I said nothing. But then, finally, they came for me. And there was no one left to protest on my behalf. Time for the liberal, left-wing media to realize that they are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. We hang together, or we shall all surely hang separately....

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear the Ovomit supporters explain this one away. Anyone who does is clearly a subversive with acts of treason on their mind. But we won't have to spy on them to find out what's on their mind...they will willingly upchuck their foul verbiage.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I have this straight.

AP and Rueters, (spelling) are owned by the Rothschilds and the AP and Rueters pretty much own all the other so called news agencies.

So who is spying on who again?

Hide Behind said...

Regans cabinet was the first strategicly thought out attempt to dominate and eventually replace the. public and worlds media into one completely under military Executive Branch authority.
If he was still living he would probably be surprised at how easy that was accomplished.
For any corporate media that had been sucking up to authority to suddenly say ; Hey you can't tell world what we undressed ourselves for" is mere whinning.

Media has no high grounds left to pretend to defend.freedom to make a buck no matter how big the lies or cost in american lives or fortunes is their only cause for being.
One could burn each of their home towers of power down and should not be arrested for attacking free speech but only for destruction of property, and a jury should fine the media guilty of crimes against humanity.
AP or the whole artificial plastic people should just shut up and take their lovers quarrels to the boardrooms and bedrooms.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the answer to the often posed question of "who's watching the watchers that are watching me?" is - the watchers.

These type of surveillance states have a natural tendency to get out of hand very quickly with one group spying on another group and vice versa.

Just look at the Mossad operations regarding that "spy ring" busted back in 2001 around 9/11 - most of the issues stemmed from Mossad agents blackmailing politicians, police chiefs, district attorneys, etc. with dirt they collected by monitoring phone calls and other telecommunications through some Mossad partnered tech companies in the U.S.A.

While who you know is always important these days what you know about who you know is even more important.

As everyone here should be well aware information is the true "holy grail" of power as it allows you to make money, to "socially engineer" society and hold and expand power of all kinds - though money could be seen as equal as more money does equate to more ability to control information these days information is still the key to get it all started usually.

The watchers keep an eye on us but they also keep an eye on each other, they constantly seek as much information as possible about anyone and everyone that may even slightly be of concern to them - information collection is literally their business, and with their budgets business must be good.

In no way, shape or form is that any more comforting, but it's not true to say nobody is watching the watchers - but the people aka the general public that should be watching them is not capable of doing so and that is a problem.

Even in the official capacity politics these days in the U.S.A, Canada, Britain, etc. is all about the amount of dirt you can get on everyone else so you can gain some leverage over everyone else.

They typically have the same policy internally as well so while they keep a close eye on us they often keep a closer eye on each other.

It's called "insurance" and in today's world you aren't going to get very far in the geopolitical realm if you don't have some.

Peace,
Jonny

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