Tuesday 27 June 2017

TJ McIntyre: Trawling a journalist's phone records can only ever be OK when a judge approves it

The Office of the Garda Ombudsman in Dublin. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
The Office of the Garda Ombudsman in Dublin. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

TJ McIntyre

Yesterday's revelation that GSOC has accessed the mobile phone records of two journalists has caused great concern in the media, with the NUJ describing it as a "fishing expedition" that will compromise the ability of journalists to protect their sources.

For crime reporters it raises the prospects that they may now be under surveillance on two fronts - this new GSOC power to access phone records comes on top of existing concerns that garda management has been monitoring communications to identify gardaí alleged to be speaking to the media without authorisation.

The case relates to leaks regarding the investigation into the death of the model Katy French.

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