December 14, 2006
By ADAM LIPTAK
Federal prosecutors are trying to force the American Civil Liberties Union to turn over copies of a classified document it received from a source, using what legal experts called a new extension of the Bush administration’s efforts to protect national-security secrets.
The novelty in the government’s approach is in its broad use of a grand jury subpoena, which is typically a way to gather evidence, rather than to confiscate all traces of it. But the subpoena issued to the A.C.L.U. seeks “any and all copies” of a document e-mailed to it unsolicited in October, indicating that the government also wants to prevent further dissemination of the information in the document.
The subpoena was revealed in court papers unsealed in federal court in Manhattan yesterday. The subject of the grand jury’s investigation is not known, but the A.C.L.U. said that it had been told it was not a target of the investigation.