America’s mass surveillance is eroding freedom of the press, freedom of speech and democracy
by: J. D. Heyes
Monday, August 11, 2014
Massive U.S. surveillance programs limit the ability of journalists and reporters to communicate confidentially with sources while restraining lawyers from adequately representing their clients, says a new report issued in late July by a pair of advocacy groups.
The result, according to the report, is that journalists and lawyers face increasing challenges, both in their ability to disseminate information and to hold the U.S. government to account, The Wall Street Journal and other media reported.
The report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union says that the federal government’s “massively powerful surveillance apparatus” ultimately limits and jeopardizes privacy required by both professions.
“[J]ournalists and their sources, as well as lawyers and their clients, are changing their behavior in ways that undermine basic rights and corrode democratic processes,” said the report, which is titled, “With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law and American Democracy.”
‘Government officials see no harm in the programs’