Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You’re Calling
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.
“It’s time for you to get some new cell phones, quick,” the source told us in an in-person conversation.
ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Later: Apparently, it’s been confirmed — FBI Acknowledges: Journalists Phone Records are Fair Game
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations.
“It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration,” said a senior federal official.
[...] “The FBI will take logical investigative steps to determine if a criminal act was committed by a government employee by the unauthorized release of classified information,” the statement said.
Officials say that means that phone records of reporters will be sought if government records are not sufficient.
Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).
A good comment: ABC News Call Monitoring: What’s Going On?