The Department of Justice said it will not seek information identifying the readers of a USA TODAY story from earlier this year, according to a Friday court filing, but only after the FBI captured the alleged criminal it was seeking through other means.Gannett, which publishes USA TODAY, filed a motion to quash the subpoena, initially issued in April, last week. It was resisting an effort by the FBI to obtain the IP addresses of people who read a story about a shooting of two FBI agents on Feb. 2. The subpoena sought only information on who read the story during a 30-minute time period later that night.
“A government demand for records that would identify specific individuals who read specific expressive materials … invades the First Amendment rights of both publisher and reader, and must be quashed accordingly,” Gannett’s lawyers wrote in a May 28 filing.
USA TODAY Publisher Maribel Perez Wadsworth also slammed the FBI for the effort.