Washington, October 11 (RHC)-- A media watchdog group has accused the Barack Obama administration of blocking routine information for reporters and seeking aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers.
In a report issued on Thursday, the Committee to Protect Journalists also criticized the U.S. government's unprecedented number of prosecutions of government sources and seizures of journalists' records.
Former executive editor of The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr., who wrote the report, said the current policy is against President Barack Obama's promises of transparency after he criticized the George W. Bush administration's secrecy.
Downie, a journalism professor at Arizona State University, writes: "The administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post's investigation of Watergate."
In the 30-page report, Downie conducted interviews with reporters and editors following this year's revelations that the U.S. government secretly seized records for telephone lines and switchboards used by more than 100 Associated Press journalists.
The report notes that so far during the Obama administration, six government employees and two contractors have been targeted for prosecution under the 1917 Espionage Act for accusations that they leaked classified information to the press.
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