The Washington Post goes into great detail looking into how the Department of Justice investigates leaks by targeting journalists, by revealing that the DOJ targeted Fox News correspondent James Rosen following a report back in 2009.
The AP made waves last week after it was revealed that the DOJ targeted the personal and professional phone lines of hundreds of journalists in an apparent attempt to determine who leaked information.
Rosen’s case is a bit different, because he was targeted specifically and because he was identified as possibly breaking the law, nonetheless, the actions of the DOJ do have a chilling effect on journalists across all media organizations. Even Glenn Greenwald, hardly a fan of Fox News (or U.S. TV news generally), called the move “dangerous.”
More: Brit Hume appeared on FNC to talk about the incident. Video after the jump.
In the exchange, Rosen used the alias “Leo” to address Kim and called himself “Alex,” an apparent reference to Alexander Butterfield, the man best known for running the secret recording system in the Nixon White House, according to the affidavit.
Rosen instructed Kim to send him coded signals on his Google account, according to a quote from his e-mail in the affidavit: “One asterisk means to contact them, or that previously suggested plans for communication are to proceed as agreed; two asterisks means the opposite…
Privacy protections limit searching or seizing a reporter’s work, but not when there is evidence that the journalist broke the law against unauthorized leaks. A federal judge signed off on the search warrant — agreeing that there was probable cause that Rosen was a co-conspirator.