The CBS News reporter was then asked whether her issue related to the experience of Fox News reporter James Rosen, who’d been the target of Justice Department snooping. She responded: “Well, I don’t know details of his — I only know what I’ve read but I think there could be some relationship between these types of things and what’s happened to me.”
That wasn’t a loud-mouthed affirmation, but rather a suggestion that her computer troubles could be the work of an overreaching U.S. government. Attkisson later pulled back a touch, clarifying that she wasn’t ready to identify a “specific entity.”
Eugene H. Spafford, a Purdue University professor and specialist in computer security, said that Attkisson’s initial statements about computer intrusions left open a wide field of possibilities, from viruses to botnet activity to acquaintances to criminal gangs to the government. The Erik Wemple Blog asked Spafford for his take after looking over the CBS News statement. “The details given are too sparse to really be able to say anything new,” he responded.
The Justice Department issued this statement not long after Attkisson’s claims:
To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.