Media Leaders Protest L.A.’s Getting Journalist’s Phone Records


Media law experts and journalism groups have expressed outrage that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies obtained phone records from a notable Hollywood gossip journalist during a leak investigation, calling the action a serious violation of the reporter’s rights, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Several said they believed that sheriff’s investigators violated state and federal law when they obtained a search warrant for the records of TMZ founder Harvey Levin as they tried to identify who gave him details about Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade during a 2006 drunk-driving arrest. “That’s illegal,” said Lucy Dalglish, an attorney and executive director of the Virginia-based Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Most law enforcement agencies know it’s illegal [] or have a hard time getting a judge signing off on it.”

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