Terrorist-Tracking Database Deployed to Investigate US Journalists

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According to a federal watchdog, a special Customs and Border Protection unit used sensitive government databases intended to track terrorists to instead investigate as many as 20 U.S.-based journalists, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, reports The Associated Press. An extensive report was published about the investigation by Yahoo News, detailing that the unit, “The Counter Network Division” also looked at records of congressional staffers and possibly members of Congress. These latest revelations raised alarm bells across many news organizations, and many are demanding a full explanation.

“We are deeply concerned about this apparent abuse of power,” Lauren Easton, AP’s director of media relations, said in a statement. “This appears to be an example of journalists being targeted for simply doing their jobs, which is a violation of the First Amendment.” In a statement, the Customs and Border Protection agency said they don’t investigate individuals “without a legitimate and legal basis to do so.”

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