RCMP eyes expanded media protections amid police surveillance concerns

RCMP eyes expanded media protections

OTTAWA — Newly disclosed documents say the RCMP is eyeing a policy change for organized crime probes to better protect the rights of journalists.

The possible move follows revelations in Quebec about surveillance of reporters by provincial and municipal police.

Under a 2003 federal directive, the RCMP must take special care in national security investigations involving sensitive spheres such as the media, politics, academia, religion and unions.

Internal RCMP notes say the Mounties are looking at applying the directive to all of the police force’s federal investigations, including those involving organized crime.

The Canadian Press recently obtained the November 2016 notes through the Access to Information Act.

RCMP spokesman Harold Pfleiderer says the force has nothing to add at this time, and a spokesman for the public safety minister says a review of the federal directive is ongoing.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press

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