Government surveillance and secrecy are hampering U.S. journalists and interfering with the public’s right to now, according to a new report issued by the ACLU and Human Right Watch.
In dozens of interview, 46 reporters at a variety of U.S. news agencies outline going to great measures to escape federal wiretaps and electronic monitoring, including ratcheting back their use of phones and e-mail.
Coupled with aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, surveillance has made sources wary to be forthright about what’s not working, the journalists said. And in the end, that’s bad for the country, said Dana Priest, a Pulitzer-winning national security reporter at the Washington Post, quoted in the report.
“What makes government better is our work exposing information…. It’s not just that it’s harder for me to do my job, though it is. It also makes the country less safe. Institutions work less well, and it increases the risk of corruption. Secrecy works against all of us.”
The 122-page report, “With Liberty to Monitor All,” also details how surveillance is affecting lawyers and the right to counsel. Find a PDF of the full document here.