ITWASSOOTED: Surveillance of Journalists

Monday, May 22, 2006

Surveillance of Journalists

ABC’s Ross: Surveillance of Journalists ‘Makes Me Feel…As If We Are Drug Dealers or Terrorists’ »

This morning on CNN’s Reliable Sources, ABC’s chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross — who this week learned he was the target of federal surveillance operations — described the effect that unchecked spying is having on journalists:

ROSS: [I]t makes me feel, in a way — and this is, I think, the disturbing part — as if we are drug dealers or terrorists trying to traffic in information, and should we be using bags full of quarters like old Mafia capos to avoid having our phone calls traced? I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong; I don’t think any other reporter is, either. We’re trying to cover these stories, which are difficult, but which are very important.

Ross also revealed that the surveillance has had a chilling effect on his sources, who now risk being exposed:

I’m working on a big story now with people who are confidential sources inside the Federal Air Marshal Service. They were all alarmed that they might be exposed as talking with me in violation of rules. So it’s of great concern.
we watch everybody over here so they don't report on our crimes anywhere! achtung !