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Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the World's Front Lines, 2015 Edition by Committee to Protect Journalists

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16. Surveillance Forces Journalists to Think and Act Like Spies

By Tom Lowenthal

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Graffiti attributed to the street artist Banksy is seen near the offices of Britain’s eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, in Cheltenham, England, on April 16, 2014.

Source: Reuters/Eddie Keogh

Once upon a time, a journalist never gave up a confidential source. When someone comes forward, anonymously, to inform the public, it’s better to risk time incarcerated than give them up. This ethical responsibility was also a practical and professional necessity. If you promise anonymity, you’re obliged to deliver. If you can’t keep ...

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