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Bill would protect reporters' phone records

According to the AP, state officials would be required to give journalists five days’ notice before they issue subpoenas for telephone records under legislation that has passed the Assembly.

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance drafted the bill after it was disclosed that the U.S. Department of Justice had retrieved telephone logs of Associated Press journalists.

California has a shield law requiring law enforcement to give five days’ notice to news organizations before serving subpoenas on the organization or reporter. Lieu says the Justice Department probe shows that investigators can bypass that law by secretly subpoenaing telephone or Internet companies.

The measure would be unlikely to stop federal agencies, which could still seek records through federal courts.
SB558 cleared the Assembly on Monday 78-0 and heads to the Senate for a final vote.

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