ACLU Blasts DOJ for Spying on Project Veritas
When journalism comes under attack from the government, we find that some of our truest American values will be tested…and mightily.
That is because free speech, the cornerstone of our entire gamut of freedoms, protects the press explicitly. It allows ordinary Americans to disseminate the truth to the rest of us, and it makes it possible to hold accountable those who would otherwise take advantage of their station.
And when the government starts deciding who is and isn’t worthy of this inalienable right, we find ourselves in some serious liberty limbo.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is sounding the alarm on the actions the Justice Department has taken against Project Veritas.
Project Veritas has been swept up in an ongoing federal investigation into the alleged “theft” of a diary belonging to President Biden daughter, Ashley Biden, during the 2020 presidential election. The right-wing guerilla news organization alleged on Tuesday the DOJ had been secretly surveilling its communications despite a court order from December demanding a third party to sort through devices and documents obtained by investigators.
Their statement was stern.
“We deplore Project Veritas’ deceptions, and we don’t have a full picture of the government’s investigation. But we’re concerned that the precedent set by this case could have serious consequences for press freedom,” Brian Hauss of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project said in a press release. “We’re deeply troubled by reports that the Department of Justice obtained secret electronic surveillance orders requiring sweeping disclosure of ‘all content’ of communications associated with Project Veritas email accounts, including attorney-client communications.”Advertisement - story continues below
“Compounding these concerns, the government suppressed information about the existence of the electronic surveillance orders even after the investigation became public knowledge and the district court appointed a special master to supervise prosecutors’ access to Project Veritas’ sensitive materials. The government must immediately suspend its review of the materials obtained pursuant to its electronic surveillance orders and fully disclose the extent of its actions, so that the court can consider appropriate relief,” Hauss added.
Project Veritas never published any of the contents of the alleged diary, citing their inability to independently verify its authenticity.