Tuesday, May 16, 2006
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.The FBI confirms this?
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters' phone records in leak investigations.Well, we have nothing to fear unless we're terrorists, right, so I guess reporters and whistleblowers are terrorists. Who knew?
"It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.
The acknowledgement followed our blotter item that ABC News reporters had been warned by a federal source that the government knew who we were calling.
The official said our blotter item was wrong to suggest that ABC News phone calls were being "tracked."
"Think of it more as backtracking," said a senior federal official.
Thank you, internet.