Justice Department Spying has ‘Chilling Effect’ on AP Reporters

Steve Neavling

The discovery that feds were spying on the Associated Press has had a “chilling effect” on the news agency, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter said, the U.S. News reports.

Reporter Martha Mendoza called the snooping “a massive and unprecedented intrusion” into the reporting of more than 20 reporters, the U.S. News wrote.

“These records obtained by the Justice Department listed incoming and outgoing calls with work and home phone numbers of individual reporters, the general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for the AP’s House of Representatives press gallery,” Mendoza told an audience at an award ceremony for journalists. “Has this had a chilling effect? It’s unbelievable. Yes it has.”

The AP believes the Justice Department seized phone records during an investigation related to a May 2012 story about the CIA preventing an al-Qaida plot to blow up a bomb about a U.S. plane.

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