Wrestling with his fear about Googling the composition of a carbon dioxide bomb after hearing of a failed bombing at LAX, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist, Peter Galison highlights one of the threats of mass surveillance to journalistic practice, “The knowledge that I might be walking into a security word search had been enough to make me hesitate.”
Following Edward Snowden’s leaks outlining the capabilities of intelligence agencies around the world to monitor, track and collate private online communications this moment of hesitation before tackling a story has become a major concern to journalists globally.
Ryan Gallagher of The Intercept states “self-censorship is never the only available option” he acknowledges that his practices have changed:
“In the post-Snowden environment I definitely use encryption tools much more to communicate with people, mainly because more of my colleagues and contacts have now adopted these tools. It’s no longer a niche thing…the Snowden revelations were a big wake-up call for people.”