In the wake of the AP scandal, in which federal investigators obtained the phone records of journalists using only a subpoena, four lawmakers have introduced legislation in the House that would prevent federal agencies from seizing any phone records without a court order.
Currently, the Telephone Records Act allows the feds to demand phone records from service providers by using only an administrative subpoena to obtain basic subscriber information. Basic subscriber information can include a customer’s name, address, credit card number, and phone records.
The Telephone Records Protection Act consists of just one sentence amending that law (.pdf) and would force federal agencies to seek judicial review to obtain records in order to avoid a situation like the one that recently happened with the Associated Press.
The bill would protect the phone records of all Americans, not just journalists, and would require federal agencies to state “specific and articulable facts” to prove to a court that the records and information being sought is “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”
Click headline to read more--