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Tag: reporters

Justice Department Identifies FBI Agent Behind Leak about Insider Trading

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI employee who admitted leaking information to reporters about an investigation into insider trading involving a Las Vegas sports gambler and golfer Phil Mickelson was a coordinating supervisory special agent, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors named David Chaves as the agent who provided reporters with information about the investigation of gambler William “Billy” Walter, Huffington Post reports. 

Prosecutors said Chaves admitted he was a “significant source” of information to reporters at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

The case has been compromised because of the leaks, and Walter’s attorney is asking for charges to be dropped.

Chaves oversaw the FBI team investigating the case. He has not yet been charged.

AG Eric Holder Expands Protections for Media, Sets New Standards

Eric Holder

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Prosecutors will have a more difficult time receiving subpoenas or search warrants for reporters under new protections for journalists announced Wednesday by Attorney General Eric Holder. 

McClatchy reports that prosecutors will be required to meet with the department’s Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit before seeking court permission to take actions against members of the media working on “newsgathering activities.”

The protections include removing the word “ordinary” from the phrase “newsgathering activities.”

“These revised guidelines strike an appropriate balance between law enforcement’s need to protect the American people, and the news media’s role in ensuring the free flow of information,” Holder said.

Members of the media applauded the move.

“We are pleased that the new guidelines protect ‘newsgathering activities’ without qualification whenever the government seeks information related to a journalist’s work reporting and disseminating the news,” declared Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Denver Post: Justice Department Must End Crusade Against Reporters

By Denver Post 
Editorial Board

All of the conciliatory talk from the Justice Department about leaving journalists out of its war on leaks appears to be just that — talk.

That’s the only logical answer to the question of why New York Times reporter James Risen was on the witness stand in federal court Monday, being asked about confidential sources and stories.

The feds are attempting to prosecute Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of giving Risen classified information about a botched operation involving Iran and its nuclear program.

The government’s attempt to pressure Risen is far from the only episode in which the administration has tried to get at those suspected of revealing sensitive information through journalists.

To read more click here.

FBI Director Refuses to Say “Never” When It Comes to Agents Impersonating Reporters

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

FBI Director James Comey said he’s unwilling to pledge an end to agents posing as reporters, but emphasized that such a tactic should be rare and “done carefully with significant supervision, if it’s going to be done,” the Seattle Times reports.

The comments at a round-table discussion with reporters came after recent revelations that an FBI agent posed as an Associated Press reporter in 2007 to investigate high school bomb threats.

The AP asked that the tactic stop.

“I’m not willing to say never,” Comey responded. “Just as I wouldn’t say that we would never pose as an educator or a doctor or, I don’t know, a rocket scientist.”

The AP argues that posing as a reporter degrades a news agency’s “legacy of objectivity, truth, accuracy and integrity.”

Comey said that he’s not familiar with any other instances in which agents posed as reporters.

“I think it’s something that ought to be done carefully with significant supervision if it’s going to be done,” he said. “But I’m not in a position to say never.”

 

FBI Probe of News Leaks Chills Relations with Media

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Media coverage of national security issues has become more difficult because employees at federal agencies have been afraid to speak out since the FBI began its hunt for leakers of sensitive information, the New York Times reports.

In one of the most thorough criminal investigations of intelligence disclosures in years, agents are questioning employees about leaks at the White House, the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Agency.

Under President Obama’s administration, a record six leaks have been prosecuted.

“People are being cautious,” one intelligence official who, considering the circumstances, told the New York Times on condition of anonymity. “We’re not doing some of the routine things we usually do,” he added, referring to briefings on American security efforts and subjects in the news.

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