White House Calls Off The Dogs In The Great Hunt For Leaks

The Wall Street Journal
Tevi Troy | June 15, 2021

The Biden administration adopts an anti-snooping policy, but history suggests it might not last.

The Biden administration took what seemed like an important step forward for the freedom of the press. “Going forward,” spokesman Anthony Coley said on June 5, “this Department of Justice—in a change to its longstanding practice—will not seek compulsory legal process in leak investigations to obtain source information from members of the news media doing their jobs.”

The key words are “going forward”—a tacit admission that the Justice Department under President Biden may have been using electronic data to hunt for leakers.

. . .

Going forward, the administration may find itself facing more damaging leaks and wanting to identify them using the same tactics as its predecessors. But doing so would be unwise. Leaks are inevitable and the search for them is rarely successful. As history shows, the best that leak hunters can hope for is failure. Some other results are worse.

Full text available through The Wall Street Journal.

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