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View Diary: The AP Phone Records, the Press, and the Devil's Bargain (45 comments)

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  •  Getting phone records is legal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, ratcityreprobate

    The U.S. Supreme Court said so in a 1979 decision, Smith v. Maryland.
    The subpoena might have been challenged as being unnecessarily broad.  That would depend on the particular facts of the case -- the previous investigative efforts, what justification there was for looking for records on these particular phone numbers on these particular dates, etc.

    Of course, the A.P. wasn't given the chance to fight the subpoena, because it was served without their knowledge.  They have a much higher stake in protecting this information than the phone company does.  Whether that was appropriate also depends on the facts of the case, which we really don't know.  But it does raise some question, at least.

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