Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today announced significant revisions to the Justice Department’s regulations on obtaining information from or records of members of the news media.
The provisions codify, among other things, the policy announced by the Attorney General in his July 19, 2021 memorandum, according to which the requirement of compulsory legal process for the purpose of obtaining information from or records from members of the news media acting in the scope of news gathering is prohibited except in limited, specified circumstances .
“These rules recognize the critical 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 rules are intended to provide enhanced protections to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools and actions that may unreasonably impair news gathering.”
“This revised policy is the result of a rigorous, year-long, multi-perspective review process,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “The discussions and input from internal and external stakeholders, including federal prosecutors and media representatives, were instrumental in shaping the final policy.”
The Attorney General’s memorandum announcing the revisions is available here. The revised regulations are available here.