Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pennsylvania AG going too far?

Seems to us that the Pennsylvania Attorney General is going a bit too far in his request for reporters' computers:

High court suspends LNP fine

A key issue is whether the attorney general violated press freedoms in compelling Lancaster Newspapers, publisher of the Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News, to hand over computer hard drives that might contain information reporters obtained from confidential sources.

"We're confident that the state Supreme Court will give this issue the appropriate scrutiny it deserves," said Kevin Harley, spokesman for Attorney General Tom Corbett.

The justices did not indicate when they would issue a final order or say whether they would schedule oral arguments.

The dispute arises from a probe begun last fall by the attorney general into county Coroner Dr. G. Gary Kirchner's dealings with the press.

The attorney general engaged a statewide investigative grand jury to look into whether Kirchner gave Intelligencer Journal reporters his password to a part of the county’s Web site restricted to law-enforcement and other authorized officials.

The grand jury has required witnesses to appear, but no charges have been filed.
Looks like a major fishing expedition to us.

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