In the article, Barry Pollack comments on the recent disclosure that the Department of Justice had obtained and reviewed two months of Associated Press (AP) telephone records as part of a criminal investigation into a suspected leak of classified information.
Pollack said that the Justice Department's "zeal to ferret out the source of the leak is understandable." But that aggressiveness, he said, must be checked so that the investigations don't have what he called "collateral damage." "Approval is to be given only if obtaining the information will not have an undue chilling effect on journalism, other investigative means have been exhausted, and efforts have been made to obtain voluntary compliance from the media organization at issue," Pollack explained. "It is not at all clear how this policy was followed with respect the AP phone records subpoena."