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Petition: Urge the US government to respect the right to report

Committee to Protect Journalists

Join the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in supporting the #RightToReport. Sign the petition today!

As the face of journalism changes to reflect an increasingly digitised world, so should the government policies to protect the rights and freedoms of journalists and media workers who use digital platforms to carry out their work.

In the United States, however, new legislation and programs carried out by state agencies do little to respect these rights. Laws are emerging that permit blanket Internet surveillance, media professionals are becoming subject to increased police scrutiny, and whistleblowers are being targeted in addition to the journalists who tell their stories.

Increasing digital surveillance and intimidation in the United States and other western democracies not only has disastrous effects on domestic media freedoms, but it also appears to provide sanction to repressive governments around the world seeking to implement extreme restrictions on freedom of expression.

CPJ's #RightToReport campaign aims to overhaul these troubling developments by demanding accountability and reform by the American government. The first stage of this initiative is to urge the Obama administration to release policy preventing the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media outlets.

Take action and add your name to the widely endorsed letter that follows:

The letter

Revelations about surveillance, intimidation, and exploitation of the press have raised unsettling questions about whether the U.S. and other Western democracies risk undermining journalists' ability to report in the digital age. They also give ammunition to repressive governments seeking to tighten restrictions on media and the Internet.

Among the most chilling reports based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden are those suggesting U.S. and allied intelligence agencies targeted news organizations, journalists, and human rights groups for surveillance.

When journalists believe they might be targeted by government hackers, pulled into a criminal investigation, or searched and interrogated about their work at the U.S. border, their ability to inform the public erodes. If journalists cannot communicate in confidence with sources, they cannot do their jobs.

The free flow of information and the right of journalists to do their jobs in the digital age must be protected.

We support the right to gather and report the news in the digital age.

We call on the Obama Administration to:

1) Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations
2) Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers
3) Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border

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