The Effects of Mass Surveillance on Journalism

October 10, 2013 by

Mass surveillance of the kind practiced by the NSA produces a chilling effect on journalism, because sources do not feel they can have a private conversation with a reporter. That’s the message of a group of scholars, journalists, and researchers from Columbia Journalism School and the MIT Center for Civic Media, in a public comment to the Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies convened by President Obama.

The 15 page letter argues that mass surveillance is harmful to journalism and incompatible with existing law and policy. It goes on to document recent chilling effects, showing that real harm has already occurred.

“Put plainly, what the NSA is doing is incompatible with the existing law and policy protecting the confidentiality of journalist-­‐source communications. This is not merely an incompatibility in spirit, but a series of specific and serious discrepancies between the activities of the intelligence community and existing law, policy, and practice in the rest of the government. Further, the climate of secrecy around mass surveillance activities is itself actively harmful to journalism, as sources cannot know when they might be monitored, or how intercepted information might be used against them.”

The letter documents how NSA’s domestic phone and internet surveillance activities contradict recent Department of Justice policy. The DoJ released new guidelines regarding access to reporter-source communication records in July, after a review prompted by the secret seizure of records for 20 Associated Press phone lines. The new guidelines say that “the Department views the use of tools to seek evidence from or involving the news media as an extraordinary measure” and requires advance notification to journalists in most cases, to give them the opportunity to contest the matter. It also requires Attorney General approval for searches and seizures.

The NSA operates with far greater latitude. It preemptively collects and archives the records of all calls made to or by journalists, effectively bypassing both the notice and the authorization provisions of the DoJ policy. The NSA operates under “minimization” procedures designed to protect the confidentiality of Americans’ communications obtained by warrantless surveillance, but these rules contain an important exception: the NSA can report many different types of crimes to law enforcement authorities.

The letter argues that this double standard is intolerable: “there must be one set of rules, and those rules must protect journalist-­‐source communications.” The authors also reject the logic of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when it asserts that collecting information on everyone is no different, from a privacy point of view, than collecting information on specific individuals.

“The surveillance of essentially everyone has effects far beyond the surveillance of journalists alone. … For a free press to function we must also protect the means of communicating with a journalist. At the present time, the NSA has made private electronic communication essentially impossible.”

This state of affairs has made sources nervous about talking to reporters. Journalists from news organizations including the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Center for Public Integrity have recently reported chilling effects. As quoted in a newly released report of the Committee To Protect Journalists, New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane describes the problem:

“There’s a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It’s having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”

Mass surveillance is not merely a theoretical risk to a free press, but has real consequences that are already preventing journalists from doing their job.

The comment was prepared by a group of  journalists and scholars with experience in investigative journalism, online media, and data mining, including Tow Center Director Emily Bell, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism Director Sheila Coronel, Tow Center Fellow Jonathan Stray, and Professor Michael Schudson of Columbia Journalism School, and Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the MIT Center For Civic Media.

Category: Past Events, Research

16 Comments

cmoutletjtfrjgfjh Aug 04, 2014
It p90x workout is nike mercurial reported oakley sunglasses outlet that timberland in rayban early longchamp 2012 borse louis vuitton the jimmy choo first jerseys public louboutin shoes occasion, cheap sunglasses Mr. lululemon canada Ma karen millen uk was polo ralph lauren also abercrombie grappling true religion with ray ban the birkin bag process hogan of jordan shoes foreign ralph lauren outlet online Secret cheap sunglasses year louboutin outlet two ralph lauren outlet mainstream tiffany and co microblogging, ralph lauren polo "Everyone air max pas cher regardless oakley sunglasses of gucci handbags cost," ralph lauren he michael kors outlet said, ralph lauren uk Tencent sac hermes microblogging longchamp handbags tens louis vuitton bags of burberry pas cher millions coach handbags of oakley outlet advertising ray ban investment, ferragamo outlet Sina true religion outlet Weibo karen millen tens ralph lauren outlet of burberry handbags millions burberry factory outlet on ray ban uk advertising nike outlet investment vans grappling. ralph lauren outlet online A michael kors quarter polo ralph lauren earnings sac michael kors report oakley sunglasses cheap that burberry came valentinos out burberry factory outlet last oakley outlet year, gucci shoes investors north face jackets put marc jacobs too louis vuitton much replica watches special burberry outlet online attention balance shoes to ray bans the sac lancel Tencent converse microblogging, prada outlet "see longchamp that salvatore ferragamo we michael kors are ray ban pas cher playing hogan outlet hard mulberry uk to sac longchamp pas cher see, nike air max if oakley vault bruising cheap oakley sunglasses Tencent raybans microblogging, louis vuitton handbags Sina sac longchamp will cheap sunglasses Manlianshixue. oakley sunglasses "The true religion outlet March louis vuitton uk 27, new balance 2014, oakley vault this jordan pas cher was lululemon outlet known oakley vault as nike free Ma montblanc Manlianshixue michael kors pas cher Sina coach factory Weibo coach outlet officially louis vuitton pas cher renamed burberry outlet as supra for sale "microblogging," supra shoes and air max in nike free run mid-April nike factory outlet in nike air max the hermes pas cher United ghd hair States cheap sunglasses officially montre homme listed ray ban sunglasses on true religion NASDAQ. polo shirts Effect jordan retro of sac louis vuitton this coach outlet decision tory burch outlet is bottega veneta that oakley outlet the nike free run user louis vuitton first polo outlet reaction rayban since rayban then louboutin filed coach outlet store microblogging michael kors handbags no ray ban sunglasses longer louboutin pas cher believe louis vuitton outlet that ferragamo shoes microblogging coach outlet store is mulberry a chi hair category, oakley sunglasses outlet but ugg boots exclusively celine handbags Sina toms shoes outlet name, ray ban outlet which oakley sunglasses gave soccer jerseys all ray-ban being oakley sunglasses cheap developed, burberry already oakley pas cher fading beats by dre microblogging oakley sunglasses beautiful abercrombie and fitch blow.In chaussure louboutin the nike air max final oakley sunglasses cheap analysis, michael kors the new balance shoes strategic true religion jeans decision nike factory to ralph lauren adjust polo ralph lauren outlet naturally gucci from air max the nike free run enterprise north face outlet level hogan sito ufficiale to oakley sunglasses outlet evaluate burberry handbags the abercrombie kids level michael kors outlet online of lancel Tencent, longchamp bags has burberry nothing oakley to michael kors outlet do air max right free run or timberland pas cher wrong. rolex watches Titanium nike free media coach factory outlet editors louis vuitton not reebok skyscape to hermes Tencent tiffanys microblogging oakley sunglasses cheap fate michael kors outlet online and toms outlet regret, juicy couture outlet market oakley vault and converse shoes customer ralph lauren needs burberry outlet online already mont blanc decided hermes birkin its louis vuitton bags fate. scarpe hogan Today, red bottom shoes micro-channel oakley vault strong jordan 11 momentum juicy couture of cheap oakley sunglasses development, tory burch handbags has tory burch occupied nike shoes the nike free pas cher most ray bans important christian louboutin shoes mobile hollister terminal coach factory outlet entrance, polo ralph lauren outlet while vans pas cher stepping nike store on hermes handbags drums coach purses 4G oakley sunglasses will oakley sunglasses cheap support montre femme micro true religion outlet depending abercrombie and on prada handbags the ugg boots host, longchamp outlet will reebok outlet be air max the tiffany's Tencent oakley outlet next polo ralph lauren outlet online bet.ray ban outlet michael kors handbags cheap oakley sunglasses toms shoes yoga pants air max polo ralph lauren nike air max hermes belt gucci belts mcm bags ray ban beats headphones burberry outlet insanity workout polo shirts ray ban herve leger coach bags mont blanc pens louboutin lancel pas cher polo outlet asics running hermes birkin bag ugg boots louboutin nike tn ray-ban cheap sunglasses oakley sunglasses outlet longchamp pas cher coach outlet store online oakley raybans nike free run pas cher nike air max air jordan tory burch shoes kate spade outlet nike air max air max nfl jerseys polo ralph lauren outlet online hollister uk louis vuitton ralph lauren polo prada shoes the north face chanel bags lululemon coach factory outlet louis vuitton handbags chanel handbags air jordan rayban new balance outlet gucci outlet ralph lauren outlet sac burberry ralph lauren pas cher cheap oakley sunglasses oakley outlet nike free louboutin reebok shoes christian louboutin outlet louis vuitton outlet online oakley sunglasses outlet kate spade cheap oakley sunglasses montre pas cher teqtgewayaeyreasty
asmaa mahmoud Jul 26, 2014
شركة تنظيف بالدمام شركة نقل أثاث بالدمام شركة تنظيف بالدمام نقل عفش الدمام شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام تخزين عفش بالدمام شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام نقل عفش جدة نقل عفش مكة شركة نقل عفش بالطائف نقل اثاث بجدة نقل عفش جدة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركة تخزين عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركات نقل الموبيليا فى القاهرة شركة نقل اثاث بالمنصورة شركة نقل اثاث بأبوقير شركة نقل اثاث بالمعادى شركة نقل اثاث فى مدينة نصر شركة نقل اثاث بمدينتى شركة نقل اثاث بالتجمع شركات نقل الاثاث بالرحاب شركة نقل عفش بالقاهرة شركة نقل أثاث برماح شركة نقل أثاث بالمزاحمية شركة نقل أثاث بالدلم شركة تخزين أثاث بالدلم شركة تخزين اثاث بالمجمعة شركة نقل اثاث بالمنصورة شركة نقل اثاث بالهفوف نقل عفش الدمام شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام تخزين عفش بالدمام شركة تخزين اثاث بالدمام شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام نقل عفش جدة نقل عفش مكة شركة نقل عفش بالطائف نقل اثاث بجدة نقل عفش جدة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركة تخزين عفش بالمدينة المنورة شركات نقل الموبيليا فى القاهرة شركة نقل اثاث بالمنصورة شركة نقل اثاث بأبوقير شركة نقل اثاث بالمعادى شركة نقل اثاث فى مدينة نصر شركة نقل اثاث بمدينتى شركة نقل اثاث بالتجمع شركات نقل الاثاث بالرحاب شركة نقل عفش بالقاهرة شركة نقل أثاث برماح شركة نقل أثاث بالمزاحمية شركة نقل أثاث بالدلم شركة تخزين أثاث بالدلم شركة تخزين اثاث بالمجمعة شركة نقل اثاث بالمنصورة شركة نقل اثاث بالهفوف افضل شركة شحن فى مصر شركة تشطيبات وديكور داخلى اعمال جسات تصميم شقق ديكورات مطابخ واجهات عمائر ايجار سيارات فى شرم الشيخ ايجار سيارات فى مدينة نصر مركز صيانة ايديال زانوسى شركات تأجير السيارات بالاسكندرية ايجار سيارات فى طنطا تأجير سيارات لشركات بترول شركة صيانة منازل بجدة ايجار سيارات زفاف بالاسكندرية صيانة غسالة ايديال زانوسى صيانة زانوسى الاسكندرية شركة تشطيبات تشطيبات شقق شركة ديكور شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام شركه تنظيف موكيت بالدمام شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام شركه تنظيف منازل بالدمام شركة تنظيف بالدمام شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام شركة تنظيف بالدمام شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام شركة تنظيف خزانات بمكة شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف شركة تنظيف منازل بمكة شركة تنظيف بجدة شركة تنظيف منازل بجدة شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة شركة تنظيف شقق بجدة شركة تنظيف موكيت بجدة شركة تنظيف مسابح بجدة شركة تنظيف مجالس بجدة شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمديمة المنورة شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة تنظيب مجالس جدة شركة تنظيف مسابح بجدة شركة تنظيف مجالس بجدة شركة تنظيف موكيت بجدة شركة تنظيف شقق بجدة شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة شركات تنظيف المنازل في جدة شركة تنظيف بجدة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة تنظيف بيارات بضرما شركة تنظيف بيارات بالمجمعة شركة تنظيف بيارات بضرماء شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام شركة مكافحة حشرات بمكه شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف شركة رش مبيدات بمكة شركة تسليك مجارى بجدة كشف تسربات المياه بجدة شركة مكافحة الحشرات فى جدة شركات رش المبيدات الحشرية بحدة مكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورة شركة رش مبيدات بالمدينة المنورة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة شرك مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات بشقراء شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالمزاحمية شركة تسليك مجاري برماح شركة مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات برماح شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدلم مكافحة البق بجدة شركة مكافحة حشرات الفراش بجدة شركة ابادة حشرات الدمام رش مبيدات حشرية بالدمام شركة مكافحة الصراصير بالدمام شركة مكافحة افات المخازن بالمدينة المنورة شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام شركة مكافحة البق بالمدينة المنورة شركة عزل أسطح بضرما شركة عزل أسطح بالدلم شركة عزل أسطح بشقراء شركة عزل أسطح بالمزاحمية شركة عزل خزانات بالمزاحمية شركة عزل اسطح بالمدينة المنورة
huangxiaoxianhuangxiaoxian Jul 16, 2014
It only requires nike air max a burberry outlet online handful rolex watches of ferragamo outlet seconds cheap oakley sunglasses but nike air max will coach factory outlet make gucci managing your project north face outlet a lot less difficult. When you're prepared hogan to p90x workout commence tory burch outlet your juicy couture session hermes belt switch polo ralph lauren outlet on nike free the converse shoes answering true religion machine hogan (if you have nike air max one nike air max particular) vans pas cher and reduce the nike air max ring tone volume. Microphones can't rayban b excluded longchamp handbags from your sound bottega veneta system rental louboutin checklist. louis vuitton When vehicles rayban switched louboutin to oakley sunglasses cheap 12-volt herve leger batteries, the louis vuitton bags very oakley sunglasses same coach bags arrangement was louis vuitton applied, with nike air max tubes with 12-volt coach outlet store heaters. hollister When utilized chanel bags for toms shoes reside performances, oakley the michael kors outlet signal created ralph lauren pas cher by soccer jerseys the karen millen mixer ralph lauren uk will generally coach factory outlet be jimmy choo sent louboutin straight jerseys to an louis vuitton amplifier, louboutin unless nike air max that jordan retro certain oakley mixer is celine handbags "powered" or nike air max it ray ban sunglasses is montre femme becoming connected to powered speakers. ghd hair Other longchamps accessories longchamps that lululemon canada can be asics running employed reebok skyscape with ralph lauren outlet microphones are boom stands, mulberry pop filters, mounts, nike mercurial transformers, nike factory stand prada outlet arms valentinos and lululemon outlet wind ray ban sunglasses screens. nike uk It michael kors handbags is timberland attainable coach factory you montblanc will true religion outlet finish up nike air max paying true religion outlet much insanity workout more supra for sale for your marc jacobs installation chi hair then ray ban the actual stereo new balance shoes if you mcm bags are lancel not cautious.
Blackberry spy software Jul 07, 2014
Yeah Journalism has some reservation on surveillance especially the NSA doing on it's media and neighbor countries. Recently an American NSA agent caught in Berlin for spying on German authorities and how insane it is. Ain't ? I've posted about this news and read for more information here Blackberry spy software
coach factory outlet Jun 16, 2014
michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet coach outlet cheap oakley sunglasses oakley sunglasses outlet louis vuitton handbags coach factory outlet coach outlet store online coach factory michael kors outlet online coach outlet prada outlet air jordan true religion jeans coach factory outlet louis vuitton outlet coach factory outlet oakley sunglasses michael kors coach factory outlet prada handbags coach outlet louis vuitton handbags cheap oakley sunglasses cheap jordan true religion jeans outlet louis vuitton coach factory coach store online coach factory online michael kors outlet coachfactory.com coach factory outlet prada handbags michael kors outlet coach outlet store online coach outlet valentino valentino shoes louis vuitton outlet coach outlet online coach factory outlet online isabel marant Shoes coach outlet store online timberland boots coach outlet oakley sunglasses coach outlet online coachfactory.com true religion outlet coach outlet coach outlet store online coach factory coach factory outlet timberland shoes true religion outlet coach outlet store online coach outlet coach factory coach factory outlet true religion coach outlet store online true religion jeans coach factory louis vuitton coach factory outlet michael kors outlet coach factory outlet polo ralph lauren coach outlet store online tiffany and co coach factory outlet coach outlet online michael kors outlet online coach outlet online coach factory outlet online celine outlet cheap toms coach outlet celine handbags marc jacobs outlet michael kors purses coach outlet ralph lauren coach factory outlet toms shoes coach outlet online supra shoes coach outlet fitflop outlet tiffany jewelry tiffany and co coach factory michael kors outlet online coach outlet michael kors outlet store marc jacobs celine bags coach factory outlet coach handbags outlet timberland boots michael kors factory outlet fitflops coach factory outlet toms shoes louis vuitton handbags oakley sunglasses cheap prada factory
Paul - surveillance expert Oct 21, 2013
Isnt it a case sometimes though that the press need to be reigned in a little?

Post a comment

We're trying to advance the conversation, and we trust that you will, too. We'd rather not moderate, but we will remove any comments that are blatantly inflammatory or inappropriate. Let it fly, but keep it clean. Thanks.