The Associated Press is suing the Justice Department after the FBI created a fake AP story in an attempt to plant surveillance software on a suspect’s computer, the Huffington Post reports.
The AP filed suit Thursday over the FBI’s failure to provide public records related to the ruse.
“The FBI both misappropriated the trusted name of The Associated Press and created a situation where our credibility could have been undermined on a large scale,” AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser said in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder.
The FBI used a fake AP story in hopes that a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats would click on the link, which would enable the software and reveal where he lived and his Internet address.
Since then, the FBI has refused to turn over documents related to the case.
“It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization,” Kaiser wrote. “The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation.”