by Mike Masnick
Tue, Oct 27th 2009 3:30pm
While there are still debates over proposals for a federal shield law to protect journalists from having to reveal sources, California already has a shield law for journalists, but what good does it do if authorities totally ignore it. It seems that may have happened in the case of TMZ's Harvey Levin and the Los Angeles County Sheriff obtaining Levin's phone records in trying to track down who leaked information about actor Mel Gibson's arrest. Levin is pointing out that this does, in fact, appear to violate both state and federal law and is apparently working with lawyers over this. While the Sheriff's department says it spoke with a prosecutor and got a judge's approval to get the records, it's difficult to see how that fits with California's shield law.
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