Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Frets Over U.S. Media Freedom After AP Wiretapping

A senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday that he was worried that the U.S. government was suppressing media freedoms amid revelations that the Justice Department had gathered records of phone calls by Associated Press journalists.

"We draw attention to the latest statements by The Associated Press regarding wiretapping," Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry's human rights envoy, said on Twitter.

He added that the situation represented a worrisome example of a state attacking media freedoms.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who oversees the Justice Department, has defended the move to collect AP phone records in an effort to hunt down the sources of information for a May 7, 2012, AP story that disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bombing plot around the anniversary of the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Holder has called the story the result of "a very serious leak, a very grave leak."

The AP and other U.S. news organizations, however, have complained that the U.S. government overstepped its boundaries.

Material from AP was included in this report.

Related articles:

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.