Garland Formally Bars Justice Dept. From Seizing Reporters’ Records

The Justice Department on Wednesday formally banned the use of subpoenas, warrants or court orders to seize reporters’ communications records or demand their notes or testimony in an effort to uncover confidential sources in leak investigations, in what amounts to a major policy shift. The rule codifies and expands a policy the attorney general issued in 2021, after it came to light that the Trump administration had secretly gone after records of reporters for The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN.

TikTok Seen Moving Toward U.S. Security Deal, But Hurdles Remain

A draft agreement with the Biden administration to keep the Chinese-owned video app operating in the United States is under review. That could mean more wrangling.

Judge Appears Willing To Unveil Some Of Mar-a-Lago Affidavit

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said that under the law, it is the government’s burden to show why a redacted version should not be released and prosecutors’ arguments Thursday failed to persuade him. He gave them a week to submit a copy of the affidavit proposing the information it wants to keep secret after the FBI seized classified and top secret information during a search at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week.

DOJ Plans To Sue Google Over Ad Market As Soon As September

The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to sue Google as soon as next month, according to people familiar with the matter, capping years of work to build a case that the Alphabet Inc. unit illegally dominates the digital advertising market. Lawyers with the DOJ’s antitrust division are questioning publishers in another round of interviews to refresh facts and glean additional details for the complaint, said three people familiar with the conversations.

Meta Agrees To Alter Ad-Targeting Tech In Settlement With U.S.

HUD had accused Meta of engaging in housing discrimination by letting advertisers restrict who could see housing ads on Facebook based on characteristics like race, religion and national origin.

Justice Department Backs Antitrust Bill Targeting Large Tech Platforms

The Justice Department is backing an antitrust bill that would prohibit the largest tech companies from favoring their own products or services. “The Department views the rise of dominant platforms as presenting a threat to open markets and competition, with risks for consumers, businesses, innovation, resiliency, global competitiveness, and our democracy,” Peter Hyun, an acting assistant attorney general, said Monday in a letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

FTC, Justice Seek Input On Media, Tech Mergers

The Biden administration is looking beyond antitrust theories for input on the “first-hand impacts” of media and tech mergers to help guide its planned rethink of merger enforcement. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, which together divvy up antitrust reviews, will co-host “listening forums,” seeking input beyond antitrust experts to consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and others

RTDNA Seeks Your Help As DOJ Investigates Police Departments For Interfering With Journalists

FTC, DOJ Launch Joint Inquiry Aimed At Blocking Illegal Mergers

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division on Tuesday launched a new inquiry aimed at updating guidelines to block illegal mergers. The agencies are seeking public input to update guidelines over the next 60 days.

DOJ: Neo-Nazi Sentenced For Plotting Against Journalists

Senate Confirms Kanter To Head DOJ Antitrust Division

The bipartisan vote Tuesday was 68-29 to confirm Jonathan Kanter, an antitrust lawyer who has opposed tech giants in private practice, as assistant attorney general heading the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The position has been without a permanent head for nearly a year as Biden and his advisers sifted through a number of qualified candidates and then nominated Kanter in July to face Senate vetting.

Ozy Media Faces Federal Investigations

The Justice Department and the SEC have contacted companies that discussed investing in the Silicon Valley media business.

Justice Dept. Conducting Cyber Crackdown

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco says that the public should expect to see more arrests and law enforcement action as the Justice Department deals with the threat of ransomware.

A Star Corporate Lawyer Now Set To Take On Corporate America

How Jonathan Kanter, the Biden administration’s choice to be the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, became a progressive foe of Big Tech.

DOJ Official Signals Firm Stance Against ‘Killer Acquisitions’

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, who oversees the agency’s antitrust division, said the Justice Department will not shy away from enforcing antitrust laws against so-called killer acquisitions, where dominant firms buy start-ups before they can become competitive threats. Acquisitions of nascent competitors, she said, “are one category of particularly concerning transactions because they undermine competition that can disrupt monopolies.”

Justice Releases More Details On Secret Seizures Of Journalists’ Records

The Biden Justice Department on Wednesday released a more detailed accounting of recently revealed federal law enforcement efforts to secretly obtain journalists’ phone records, attempting to honor a public commitment to transparency and disclosing for the first time that Attorney General Merrick Garland personally approved keeping one case under wraps.

Justice Dept. Said To Accelerate Google Ad Inquiry

The moves may result in a second antitrust lawsuit against Google before the end of the year.

Biden’s Antitrust Team Signals A Big Swing At Corporate Titans

The president has stacked his administration with crusaders who have spent their careers challenging corporate consolidation.

Biden To Appoint Big Tech Critic To DOJ Antitrust Role

President Biden plans to appoint lawyer Jonathan Kanter as the head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division, the White House announced Tuesday, another sign of the administration’s intention to take on Big Tech.  Kanter has been a favorite pick of progressive organizations pushing for the DOJ and Federal Trade Commission to do more to crack down on anticompetitive conduct, especially in the tech industry.

DOJ Sets New Rules Limiting Seizure Of Journalists’ Phone And Email Records

The Justice Department formally announced new rules designed to greatly limit prosecutors’ ability to obtain phone and email records of journalists. The rules, unveiled Monday by Attorney General Merrick Garland, came after the revelation that the DOJ subpoenaed information from reporters for CNN, Washington Post and The New York Times, part of an effort that started during Donald Trump’s administration and largely played out without the journalists’ knowledge. The journalists were not targets of an investigation but were believed to be part of an effort to probe the source of leaks to the news media.

Attempt To Seize Post Reporters’ Email Data Came Day Before Barr Left Office

Newly unsealed court files shed more light on a contentious leak investigation.

CNN’s Starr An Unlikely Target In DOJ Probe

Regular CNN viewers know Barbara Starr as the network’s veteran Pentagon reporter, a straight-shooting correspondent who delivers periodic news reports on topics like NATO, counterterrorism efforts, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So it was striking when Starr was revealed last month as one of the journalists whose email and phone records were secretly seized by the Justice Department amid a Trump administration push to discover who was providing classified information to journalists.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Garland Confronts Long-Building Crisis Over Leak Inquiries And Journalism

Government leak hunters have been ratcheting up pressure on the ability of journalists to do their jobs for a generation — a push fueled by changing technology and fraught national-security issues that arose after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Now, those tensions have reached an inflection point.

CNN Lawyers Gagged In Fight With Justice Dept. Over Reporter’s Email Data

The disclosure of the aggressive leak investigation tactic followed a similar revelation involving The New York Times.

WaPo Publisher Slams ‘Unprecedented Assault’ On Media By Biden DOJ

DOJ Ends Pursuit Of Media Sources

The Justice Department on Saturday announced that it will no longer use subpoenas or other legal methods to obtain information from journalists about their sources — a major policy shift that came just a day after the New York Times revealed that the department had prohibited the newspaper’s lawyers and executives from disclosing an effort to seize email records of four reporters.

Trump Justice Dept. Seized Phone Records Of 4 New York Times Reporters

It is the third instance over the last month in which a news media organization has disclosed that federal authorities seized the records of its journalists in an effort to identify sources for national security stories published during President Donald Trump’s administration.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Biden Vacancies Delay Big Tech Reckoning

President Biden still hasn’t named permanent leaders at the key agencies overseeing the tech and telecom industries, giving him a late start on confronting powerful U.S. companies. If Biden doesn’t move quickly, there won’t be enough time left for his administration to take on big targets and tackle thorny policy problems.

Trump Justice Department Seized CNN Reporter’s Phone Records

“CNN strongly condemns the secret collection of any aspect of a journalist’s correspondence, which is clearly protected by the First Amendment,” CNN President Jeff Zucker said in a statement published by the network. “We are asking for an immediate meeting with the Justice Department for an explanation.”

Washington Post Says US Secretly Obtained Reporters’ Records

The Trump Justice Department secretly seized the phone records of three Washington Post reporters who covered the federal investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the newspaper said Friday.

Justice Sides With YouTube Over Section 230

Siding with YouTube, the Biden administration is urging a federal judge to reject an attempt by video creators to invalidate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The administration’s move comes in a lawsuit by Kimberly Carleste Newman and other content creators who say YouTube wrongly restricted and de-monetized videos with titles like “black lives matter,” “racism,” and “white supremacy.”

Merrick Garland Pledges Strong Antitrust Enforcement

Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland said Monday that he will be a strong enforcer of antitrust law as “the charter of American economic liberty” and expects to need more resources to do so. He was testifying at his Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing.

DOJ Settles First Amendment Suit Over White House Press Access

DOJ’s Delrahim Proposes Public-Private Big Tech Regulatory Agency

Department of Justice Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim said that if the government does not find a way to harness the massive market power of those platforms to democratic policies, the country risks “devastating outcomes for our civil democratic society.” He suggested one solution could be a new “public-private” agency, the Digital Markets Rulemaking Board, with the power to regulate edge providers like social media sites.

DOJ: More Study Is Needed Of The ASCAP And BMI Consent Decrees

The Justice Department says there needs to be further review of two music licensing consent decrees that allow music users to secure a blanket license for rights rather than having to negotiate individually for them. That is according to Justice Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim in remarks at a Vanderbilt University Law School virtual event, “The Music Industry and Antitrust Law.” He said there remain issues that still need to be worked out.

US Appeals Order Blocking TikTok Restrictions

The U.S. government on Monday appealed a federal judge’s order that blocked the Commerce Department from imposing restrictions on Chinese-owned short video-sharing app TikTok that would have effectively barred its use in the United States.

Google Rejects DOJ Antitrust Claims In Court Filing

Google is pushing back in court this week on antitrust claims brought against it by the Justice Department two months ago. In a legal filing with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Google denied or partially rejected almost 200 specific complaints against it. On only one count, that Google was a “founded […]

US, States Bring Antitrust Action Against Facebook

The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Dish Fined $210M For Telemarketing Violations

The satellite provider will pay a historic civil penalty that tops the total penalties paid to the government by all prior violators of the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule.

DOJ Investigating Penske Media’s Purchase Of The Hollywood Reporter