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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The Justice Department and the SEC have contacted companies that discussed investing in the Silicon Valley media business.
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.
How Jonathan Kanter, the Biden administration’s choice to be the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, became a progressive foe of Big Tech.
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.”
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.
The moves may result in a second antitrust lawsuit against Google before the end of the year.
The president has stacked his administration with crusaders who have spent their careers challenging corporate consolidation.
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.
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.
Newly unsealed court files shed more light on a contentious leak investigation.
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.
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.
The disclosure of the aggressive leak investigation tactic followed a similar revelation involving The New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 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 […]
The antitrust lawsuits were announced by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James.
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.