FBI to subpoena publication for identities of people who read a news article

Reporter: Chris Cifatte Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
laura way
Credit: WINK News

The FBI has decided to subpoena newspaper publisher USA Today for a list of people who read a certain news article. Could this include you?

The story was from February of this year and it was about the shooting and killing of two FBI Agents on Florida’s east coast in Sunrise.

The FBI is now looking into who read that article during a 35-minute period that day.

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko says it is possible to have your information be part of a case just for clicking on an article.

“Absolutely, from what I’ve read they’re stretching the envelope here.. we’ll have to see what the judge says about the subpoena being fulfilled,” said Kolko.

Kolko worked for the FBI for 21 years, so WINK News asked what the FBI may be looking for by gaining access to your information.

“The subject was a case that involves crimes against children and that often involves sharing of files, sharing of videos, so it’s possible that law enforcement wants to try to find out who read the story that morning as a possibility of trying to tie two people together,” said Kolko. “And, possibly figure out who his network was.”

Pam Seay is an attorney and also teaches criminal justice courses at FGCU. “It is an interference in our First Amendment rights,” Seay said.

Seay believes that anyone caught up in this subpoena shouldn’t be.

“If my reading habits are now a question for the FBI. I think we have some more serious problems than we thought,” said Seay.

WINK News asked the attorney for USA Today to comment on the fight for this subpoena but we have not yet heard back.

On Friday, a street was named after one of the FBI agents who was killed that day. “Laura Schwartzenberger Way” was just unveiled in Miami-Dade County.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.