By PETE YOST
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department announced Friday that it is toughening its guidelines for subpoenaing reporters' phone records, and also raising the standard the government needs to meet before it can issue search warrants to gather reporters' email.
The changes follow disclosures that the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed almost two months of telephone records for 21 phone lines used by reporters and editors for The Associated Press and secretly used a warrant to obtain some emails of a Fox News journalist. After a barrage of criticism from lawmakers, the news media and civil liberties groups, Obama ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to review the Justice Department's policy on obtaining such material, and set Friday as the deadline.
In announcing the changes, the Justice Department said it will create a News Media Review Committee to advise its top officials when the department seeks media-related records in investigations.