Consider that the file seizures in these cases took place three times years after the reporting activities in question. How, then, could the Justice Department justify going ahead with the secret subpoenas? “We need to hear from the Justice Department on how credibly this test could have been satisfied when the information gathering took place three years earlier,” said Brown, who said the department had expressed his willingness to meet for a review of these circumstances. One of the topics for discussion will be the sustainability of the guidelines. If the department blows up negotiations with a news organization in one case, “that might be an aberration,” Brown says. “If you have two cases, it’s a much bigger story. If you have three cases, it no longer looks like a presumption, ”he continues.