Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today announced significant revisions to the Justice Department’s regulations regarding obtaining information from, or records of, members of the news media.
The regulations, among other things, codify the policy announced by the Attorney General in his memorandum on July 19, 2021, pursuant to which seeking compulsory legal process for the purpose of obtaining information from, or records of, members of the news media acting within the scope of newsgathering is prohibited except under limited, specified circumstances.
“These regulations recognize the crucial role that a free and independent press plays in our democracy,” said Attorney General Garland. “Because freedom of the press requires that members of the news media have the freedom to investigate and report the news, the new regulations are intended to provide enhanced protection to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools and actions that might unreasonably impair newsgathering.”
“This revised policy is the result of a rigorous, year-long review process informed by multiple perspectives,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The discussions and input received from internal and external stakeholders, including federal prosecutors and media representatives, were vital to shaping the final policy.”