Pentagon Says It Does Not Conduct Surveillance of Journalists

09.10.12 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

“The Department of Defense does not conduct electronic or physical surveillance of journalists” as a way of preventing leaks of classified information, Pentagon press spokesman George E. Little wrote last week.

But Department officials do “review media reports for possible unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” he said.

Mr. Little was responding to a July 20 letter from leaders of the Pentagon Press Association, who questioned the nature of DoD’s intention to “monitor all major, national level reporting” for evidence of leaks.  (“Reporters Seek Clarification of Pentagon Anti-Leak Policy,” Secrecy News, July 23, 2012)

“The Secretary and Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs] both believe strongly in freedom of the press and encourage good relations between the Department and the press corps,” Mr. Little wrote in his letter, which was first reported in Politico. “Their efforts to stop the unauthorized disclosures of classified information do not involve restricting press access to DoD officials.”