Eric Holder

The Justice Department released its report providing new guidelines for criminal investigations involving reporters late Friday afternoon — an effort to respond to a furor over revelations in May that the U.S. government was snooping on reporters’ phone lines and private emails on an unprecedented level.

Among the revisions, the Justice Department will be restricted from labeling a journalist as a criminal co-conspirator in seeking a search warrant to gain access to reporting materials. After news of government surveillance on reporters broke, President Obama said he didn’t think the government should be prosecuting journalists who print classified material.

“The Department of Justice is firmly committed to ensuring our nation’s security, and protecting the American people, while at the same time safeguarding the freedom of the press,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a written statement accompanying the guidelines. “These revised guidelines will help ensure the proper balance is struck when pursuing investigations into unauthorized disclosures.”

During a 30-day review that preceded the release of the new guidelines, Holder said he held seven meetings with about 30 news organizations, as well as First Amendment groups, media industry associations and academic experts.

Read More:  http://washingtonexaminer.com/