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US reporters must reveal sources in Anthrax suit

Published in: Legalbrief Environmental
Category: Litigation
Issue No: 0024

Five reporters must reveal their government sources for stories they wrote about Steven J Hatfill and investigators' suspicions that the former Army scientist was behind the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, a federal judge has ruled.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the ruling is a victory for Hatfill, a bioterrorism expert who has argued in a civil suit that the government violated his privacy rights and ruined his chances at a job by unfairly leaking information about the probe. He has not been charged in the attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, and he has denied wrongdoing. Reporters believe the Hatfill case probably will have ‘horrifying’ repercussions on the ability to report on the government's handling of public health crises.
Full report in The Washington Post (See Aug. 14th archives)