Skip to main content

Before Edward Snowden revealed – or rather, confirmed – the depth of our nation's surveillance infrastructure, news broke of the Justice Department's surreptitious collection of phone records belonging to numerous Associated Press journalists.

This seizure of journalists' phone records, executed over a two-month span for a DoJ leak investigation, generated an appropriate level of outrage from many corners. Among them were journalists who feared that such an infringement on press freedom would not only reveal to the government exactly how a number of investigative journalists operated with sensitive sources, but would chill such sources from coming forward in the future.

And that is precisely what has happened, according to AP Chief Executive and President Gary Pruitt:

Some of our long-trusted sources have become nervous and anxious about talking to us -- even on stories that aren't about national security. In some cases, government employees that we once checked in with regularly will no longer speak to us by phone and some are reluctant to meet in person.
And it's not just happening at the AP, according to Pruitt:
This chilling effect is not just at AP. ... Journalists from other news organizations have personally told me (the DOJ's seizing of AP's phone records) has intimidated sources from speaking to them
Of course, it should come as no surprise that such a direct assault on the private operations of a news organization, once made public, is going to chill sources, as it seems to have done across the board.

What is surprising, perhaps, is just how far we've allowed some of our constitutional freedoms to be pushed under the guise of national security and safety.

The AP phone records seizure, as we've come to learn, is the tip of a very large surveillance iceberg, the depth of which we still can't discern.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site