Politics: The Effects of Government Spying

NSA spying makes sources more cautious when talking to journalists, and it hurts the relationships between defense attorneys and their clients. This inhibits journalists from covering national security topics and defense lawyers from representing their clients. Sources are worried that being connected to a journalist through an online record will lead to punishment, so they are less willing to reveal issues that could be of public concern, even if the matters are unclassified. In order to overcome obstructions by the U.S. government, attorneys may use complex encryption technology, disposable “burner” cell phones, or “air-gapped” computers. To address this problem, it is recommended that the U.S. reforms surveillance practices, reduces secrecy with journalists, and enhances protections.

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