Le Committee to Protect Journalists—un groupe que the American Journalism Review nomme “Journalism’s Red Cross” (la Croix Rouge des journalistes)—vient de rendre son rapport sur la liberté de la presse sous l’administration Obama. Et le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que le résultat ne parle pas en faveur de l’occupant de la Maison Blanche.
Car si les journalistes sont espionnés à travers leurs appels téléphoniques, leurs E-mails et SMS, les membres de l’administration aussi, créant un climat d’insécurité qui effraye les officiels de l’administration.
Six government employees, plus two contractors including Edward Snowden, have been subjects of felony criminal prosecutions since 2009 under the 1917 Espionage Act, accused of leaking classified information to the press—compared with a total of three such prosecutions in all previous U.S. administrations. Still more criminal investigations into leaks are under way. Reporters’ phone logs and e-mails were secretly subpoenaed and seized by the Justice Department in two of the investigations, and a Fox News reporter was accused in an affidavit for one of those subpoenas of being ‘an aider, abettor and/or conspirator’ of an indicted leak defendant, exposing him to possible prosecution for doing his job as a journalist. In another leak case, a New York Times reporter has been ordered to testify against a defendant or go to jail.”
Le rapport montre comment les révélations sur la NSA ont effrayées les journalistes et leurs sources.
‘I worry now about calling somebody because the contact can be found out through a check of phone records or e-mails,’ said veteran national security journalist R. Jeffrey Smith of the Center for Public Integrity, an influential nonprofit government accountability news organization in Washington. ‘It leaves a digital trail that makes it easier for the government to monitor those contacts,’
L’auteur du rapport conclu:
The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate. The 30 experienced Washington journalists at a variety of news organizations whom I interviewed for this report could not remember any precedent.”