NEW YORK (AP) — Two human rights groups say the staggering amount of personal information available to government security officials has restricted the flow of information to journalists.
Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union concludes in a report Monday that journalists have to work harder to get sensitive information because they know the government can track their exchanges with sources through phone, email and other electronic records.
The rights groups also say the Obama administration's efforts to prosecute people who leak government secrets and to encourage federal employees to report suspected leakers mean fewer government sources are willing to talk to reporters.
Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi criticized the report as relying more on opinion than fact. He says officials constantly try to balance national security with freedom of the press.