A Fox News reporter was spied on by the FBI over allegations of espionage. According to the Los Angeles Times, agents secured search warrants to monitor two-day's worth of the reporters personal emails in 2010, access of which was granted by Google.
The search engine giant was ordered not to disclose its actions.
Although not identified in an affidavit, Fox News confirmed James Rosen, a Washington correspondent, as the FBI target. Rosen was accused of violating laws against individuals obtaining access to classified information, back in 2009. He reportedly asked State Department security contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim to disclose secret details about North Korea's plans to retaliate against U.N. sanctions.
Government agencies are barred from using search warrants to look into reporters' notes due to a statute in the Privacy Protection Act. Additionally, Rosen's case is the first in which a journalist's news gathering tactics have been linked to espionage.
Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente was "outraged," that "Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter."
He promised to fight against similar practices. "We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press."
Rosen was not charged, but Kim was indicted on espionage in August of 2010, for which he is awaiting trail. He maintains innocence.
Authorities uncovered 95 names involved in Rosen's requests for confidential information, accusing him of "playing to Mr. Kim's vanity and ego."
Two months of Kim's phone records were also seized.
"As a reporter, I will always honor the confidentiality of my dealings with all of my sources," Rosen said Monday.
News of the spying comes days after the reveal of similar, yet separate efforts, against the Associated Press. Authorities obtained a subpoena to access the press agency's records from 20 phone lines used by over 100 reporters, in three cities; stemming from the leak of an Al Queda plot to bomb a U.S. aircraft.
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