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An ominous and disturbing consequence of the NSA snooping

Anyone who savours an open and free press and the Fifth Estate publishing without fear or favour, will be mightily disturbed by the fall-out, and consequence, from the now revealed (thank you Edward Snowden) wide-spread snooping by the NSA.

"Recent disclosures of the NSA's widespread dragnet program coupled with its frequent targeting of journalists are having a 'chilling effect' on American writers, stifling their freedom of expression at great detriment to society, says a new report Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self Censor.
 

Published Tuesday by the group PEN America—an organization of writers dedicated to advancing literature and promoting free speech for writers around the world—surveyed 520 American writers and found they are "not only overwhelmingly worried about government surveillance, but are engaging in self-censorship as a result."

"[D]uring the Nixon years," one respondent wrote, "I took it for granted that the administration had an eye on me, and if it didn’t, I wasn’t doing my job. For a political cartoonist, active early on against Vietnam, one expected tax audits and phone taps. Irritating, but not intimidating. I view the current situation as far more serious, and the culpability and defensiveness of the president and his people deeply and cynically disturbing.”

Journalists and nonfiction writers responding to the poll were overwhelmingly concerned over how best to protect their sources in this new climate of repressed press freedoms.  Eighty-one percent of writers surveyed said they are "very concerned about government efforts to compel journalists to reveal sources of classified information, and another 15% are somewhat concerned."



Read the full American PEN report here.

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