U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Department of Justice on October 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images/AFP)

CPJ welcomes new US Justice Department guidelines protecting journalists’ sources

Washington, D.C., October 26, 2022—In response to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision Wednesday revising Justice Department regulations to restrict federal prosecutors’ ability to obtain journalists’ phone and email records in government leak investigations with narrow exceptions, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement: 

“This is an important step to protect press freedom in the United States,” said CPJ U.S. and Canada Program Coordinator Katherine Jacobsen. “These significant restraints to the Justice Department’s ability to subpoena journalists’ source material send a powerful message about the importance of reporters’ ability to protect their sources. CPJ and other press freedom organizations have long been advocating for this decision—it is heartening to see the Justice Department commit to these changes.” 

Wednesday’s decision codifies Garland’s policy change to extend the protections in July 2021, the Department of Justice said.