• The reversal follows a pledge last month by President Joe Biden, who said it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize journalists’ records and that he would not permit the justice department to continue the practice.

AP | , Washington

PUBLISHED ON JUN 07, 2021 12:17 AM IST

The US justice department said on Saturday it no longer will secretly obtain reporters’ records during leak investigations, a policy shift that abandons a practice decried by news organisations and press freedom groups.

The reversal follows a pledge last month by President Joe Biden, who said it was “simply, simply wrong” to seize journalists’ records and that he would not permit the justice department to continue the practice.

Democratic and Republican administrations have used subpoenas and court orders to obtain journalists’ records in an effort to identify sources who reveal classified information.

But the practice had received renewed scrutiny over the past month as justice department officials alerted reporters at The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times – that their phone records had been obtained in the final year of the Trump administration.

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