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Justice Department wanted indefinite tracking of Fox reporter’s email

WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) — U.S. prosecutors asked a judge to defer indefinitely notifying a Fox News reporter his email was being monitored in a national security probe, records indicate.

Court documents unsealed this week show U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ron Machen argued in 2010 the normal practice of notifying people of such monitoring within 30 days should not apply to James Rosen, who was being investigated in a national security leak case, The Hill reported Friday.

A separate court order allowed Machen to prevent Google from notifying Rosen his Gmail account was being monitored, the report said.

Machen, in court pleas, said prosecutors should get access to all of Rosen’s email — including deleted items and all attachments sent or received by Rosen, who currently serves as chief Washington correspondent for Fox.

Fox News Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes called the surveillance of Rosen an attempt by the Obama administration to “intimidate Fox News and its employees.”

In a companywide memo Thursday, Ailes suggested the administration has created “a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era.”

President Barack Obama Thursday asked Attorney General Eric Holder to evaluate Department of Justice policy on investigations involving leaks and news organizations.

Citing a law enforcement official it did not identify, NBC News reported this week Holder had personally signed the warrant authorizing surveillance of Rosen, who was targeted in the investigation as a criminal co-conspirator while covering the State Department for Fox News.

State Department employee Stephen Jin-Woo Kim — who faces charges for disclosing classified national security information — allegedly provided Rosen with classified data. Rosen had written a 2009 story about U.S. intelligence officials’ suspicion North Korea planned to carry out further nuclear weapons tests but attributed the report to sources in North Korea, The Hill said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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