Holder appointed Rod J. Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, to lead the Stuxnet inquiry after a New York Times article about President Obama ordering cyberattacks against Iran using a computer virus developed in conjunction with Israel. Other publications, including The Washington Post, followed with similar reports about Stuxnet and a related virus called Flame.
“People are feeling less open to talking to reporters given this uptick,” said a person with knowledge of Machen’s inquiry. “There is a definite chilling effect in government due to these investigations.”
Former prosecutors said investigators run sophisticated software to identify names, key words and phrases embedded in e-mails and other communications, including text messages, which could lead them to suspects.
The FBI also looks at officials’ phone records — who called whom, when, for how long. Once they have evidence of contact between officials and a particular journalist, investigators can seek a warrant to examine private e-mail accounts and phone records, including text messages, former prosecutors said.
Prosecutors and the FBI can examine government e-mail accounts and government-issued devices, including cellphones, without a warrant. They can also look at private e-mail accounts without a warrant if those accounts were accessed on government computers. READ THE STORY
The only official punished for the illegal NSA program was the one who discussed it. The same is now true of torture