By Felicia Schwartz
Large-scale U.S. surveillance programs hinder the ability of journalists to communicate confidentially with sources and restrain lawyers from adequately representing clients, according to a report issued Monday by two advocacy groups.
As a result, journalists and lawyers face challenges—both to their ability to disseminate information and to hold the U.S. government accountable—said the report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. The groups said the government’s “massively powerful surveillance apparatus” limits and jeopardizes the privacy required by both groups.
“Journalists and their sources, as well as lawyers and their clients, are changing their behavior in ways that undermine basic rights and corrode democratic processes,” it said.