How Wide-Spread is Government Surveillance of Reporters?

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 8.40.55 AMAccording to this Fox News Article, Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has sued the Justice Department over the hacking of her computers, officially accusing the Obama administration of illegal surveillance while she was reporting on administration scandals.

In a series of legal filings that seek $35 million in damages, Attkisson alleges that three separate computer forensic exams showed that hackers used sophisticated methods to surreptitiously monitor her work between 2011 and 2013.

“I just think it’s important to send a message that people shouldn’t be victimized and throw up their hands and think there’s nothing they can do and they’re powerless,” Attkisson said in an interview.

The department has steadfastly denied any involvement in the hacking, saying in a 2013 statement: “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.”

In the lawsuit and related claims against the Postal Service, filed in Washington, Attkisson says the intruders installed and periodically refreshed software to steal data and obtain passwords on her home and work computers. She also charges that the hackers monitored her audio using a Skype account.

The award-winning reporter says she and her attorneys have “pretty good evidence” that these efforts were “connected” to the Justice Department. She said she was caught in a “Catch-22,” forcing her to use the lawsuit and an administrative complaint to discover more about the surveillance through the discovery process and to learn the identities of the “John Does” named in the complaints.

“The Justice Department has not been very forthcoming with questions,” she said. “The question is, will anybody ever be held responsible?”

The multimillion-dollar damage figure relates to her loss of privacy and that of her husband and family, she said.

Attkisson learned through a Freedom of Information request that the FBI opened an investigation of the hacking case in May 2013, but says the bureau never interviewed her or even notified her of the probe.

Attkisson resigned from CBS last March after complaining that she was increasingly unable to get her investigative stories on the air. She has published a best-selling book, “Stonewalled,” about her battles against the network and the administration as she investigated stories on such subjects as Benghazi, Fast and Furious and ObamaCare.

Editor’s Note:  It has become common knowledge that government surveillance and domestic spying is becoming more and more widespread.  Questions remain as to exactly what extent local law enforcement is also engaging in domestic spying and electronic surveillance, including of local media and reporters who they view to be adversarial.

1 thought on “How Wide-Spread is Government Surveillance of Reporters?

  1. Awe lets set a trap for them, Hmmm maybe we already did. Points proven so many times. Heck if we can be set up by them then why cannot we set them up to take the bait? Welcome to my world! So many things come out into the open when you think that maybe someone may knows something when they really don’t. “Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me”. I do admit sometimes it bites you in the Ass, but sometimes it does more good. Just because there is intelligence working behind the scenes they had better think that there could be more intelligence working from the scenes, in the real world. A degree sometimes only means that your family or yourself had money to go to school. Brilliant minds come from all over the world, rich or poor, a loner or socially active, man or woman or even a child. Shakespeare: “All the world’s a stage” and “A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest”).

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