MOST NEWS REPORTERS SAY OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SPIES ON THEM: POLL
NWV Senior Political News Writer, Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
February 10, 2015
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One would imagine that with all the assistance and favorable coverage extended to President Barack Obama by members of the news media since his days in the U.S. Senate, that he would show gratitude and loyalty to the ladies and gentlemen of the press. But a new survey released on Friday by one of the nation's top pollsters shows that despite the kid-gloves treatment Obama receives from reporters, his administration is believed exhibiting Orwellian behavior in its treatment of journalist, at least according to their responses in a major poll.
According to the Pew Research Center, based in the nation's capital, 64 percent of the investigative reporters polled said they believe the United States government probably collected and analyzed information regarding their outgoing and incoming telephone calls, their emails or online communications such as Instant Messages (IMs). Even more disturbing in a nation that prides itself on its First Amendment, 80 percent of the respondents claim that being a journalist increases the chances that their communications information will be collected.
"It's a paradox: the more the Obama administration targets news outlets and news people, the more they appear to cover for him and his administration. Just imagine how they would jump on stories about alleged corruption if the president was a white, male Republican. Yet they give scant coverage to Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Bergdahl trade for terrorists and other news stories," said former police lieutenant, now political consultant, Michael Barker, Jr.
Those reporters assigned to cover stories regarding the military, intelligence agencies. law enforcement, international affairs, or the federal government are more likely to believe the Obama government has already collected their electronic communications data with a whopping 71 percent saying this is the case, according to the Pew researchers.
A perfect example of the U.S. government's electronic spying on journalists is the case involving CBS News correspondent SharylAttkisson, whose computer was hacked by "an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions," confirming Attkisson's previous revelation of the hacking, according to CBS officials. Attkisson possesses an enormous amount of credibility and won an Emmy Award for her coverage of the Benghazi scandal, something that angered the Obamanistas.
Cybersecurity experts following their investigation claimed "Attkisson's computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012." It was in the midst of her award-winning news series about the Operation Fast and Furious "gunwalking" scandal, especially the role of the Attorney General and the Justice Department.
A CBS News report stated,"Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson's accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access."
The Pew survey reveals that fears and worries over surreptitious surveillance and computer hacking haven't deterred most of the surveyed journalists from fully covering a news story or interviewing a source. Only 14 percent of the respondents admitted that personal and career concerns kept them from covering a news story or reaching out to a particular news source.
Still, these concerns have led many of these journalists to alter their behavior in the past 12 months. Almost half of the respondents -- 49 percent -- said "they have at least somewhat changed the way they store or share sensitive documents, and 29% say the same of the way they communicate with other reporters, editors or producers."
Of the 454 respondents who participated in the survey who identify as news reporters, 38 percent claimed that they have somewhat changed how they go about communicating with their sources. The survey also revealed that only 2 percent of those responding have “a lot of confidence” that their ISP (Internet Service Provider) can protect their data from being accessed without their authorization, while 71 percent have no confidence at all or only some confidence in their ISP's security.
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