FC: DoJ may have violated internal rules in hacker subpoena case

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Jun 04 2002 - 19:35:26 PDT

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    When I received a subpoena from Ashcroft's Justice Department, the Feds 
    also violated their own policy (so don't be surprised at the below):
    The DOJ regulations:
    From: Anonymous User <anonymousat_private>
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: DOJ May Have Violated Its Own Guidelines By Subpoenaing MSNBC
    X-Invalid: in Hacker Probe
    Message-ID: <1b155ac6fdd201e5d4862e0193e360beat_private>
    Though this AP article doesn't explicitly identify Adrian Lamo as the
    hacker in question, the facts seem to fit his story:
     >From The Associated Press, available online at:
    Reporter Subpoenaed in Hacking Probe
    June 4, 2002
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Without required approval, U.S. prosecutors sent a
    subpoena to MSNBC demanding a reporter's notes, e-mails and other
    information as part of an investigation into a nomadic young hacker who
    acknowledged breaking into computers at The New York Times earlier this
    The subpoena, which was withdrawn weeks later, also demanded any
    similar material from MSNBC involving another journalist who contacted
    The New York Times on behalf of the newspaper hacker after the
    break-in, then wrote about it for an online publication.
    Under guidelines from the Justice Department, Attorney General John
    Ashcroft or his deputy must personally approve any subpoenas sent to
    journalists, and Barbara Comstock, director of the Office of Public
    Affairs, must review such requests. But senior Justice officials on
    Ashcroft's staff at headquarters said they were unfamiliar with the
    MSNBC subpoena, and Ms. Comstock said she did not review it.
    Ishizuka said the subpoena, withdrawn in mid-May, demanded from MSNBC
    reporter Bob Sullivan any e-mails or notes about conversations about
    the newspaper's computer break-in with hacker Adrian Lamo and Kevin
    Poulsen, now an online journalist.
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