Stop the Secrecy

Vice: New report shows NSA surveillance is chilling democracy

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:58 -- Eva Prkachin

Privacy is at the heart of democracy, as evidenced by the chilling effects mass NSA spying is having on democratic institutions such as attorney-client privilege. Think that's a problem? Speak out at

Article by John Knefel for Vice

The US Government's mass surveillance programs are chilling the rights of journalists and lawyers, and weakening democratic institutions in the process, according to a new report authored by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU. The report found that journalists' sources are either drying up or talking less, and attorneys are increasingly concerned about their ability to keep privileged client-information private.

As a result, long-held stated US values like freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom from illegal government intrusion are in danger, according to the report. “[T]oday those freedoms are very much under threat due to the government’s own policies concerning secrecy, leak prevention, and officials’ contact with the media, combined with large-scale surveillance programs,” writes Alex Sinha, author of the report. “If the US fails to address these concerns promptly and effectively, it could do serious, long-term damage to the fabric of democracy in the country.”

Among the recommendations the report puts forward are that the US Government “narrow the scope of surveillance authorities,” “disclose additional information about surveillance programs to the public,” and “enhance protections for national-security whistleblowers.”

- Read more at Vice