February 19, 2014
The United States has dropped 13 notches in the global press freedom ranking, following the crazed whistleblower hunt that its intelligence agencies have staged on the heels of revelations by such freedom seekers as Edward Snowden and Chelsea (ex-Bradley) Manning.
Reporters Without Borders’ fresh Freedom Index has ranked the United States 46th in its annual research. It cited an increased focus on anti-whistleblower sentiment that has plummeted its rate, including the conviction of Chelsea Manning, the pursuit of Edward Snowden and the seizure of Associated Press records at the time when the US Justice Department was looking for clues on a CIA leaker.
The report claimed that Washington and London have both been “obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries.”
It criticized the United Kingdom for arresting the partner of British journalist Glenn Greenwald after the latter helped ex-NSA contractor Snowden unveil a massive intelligence operation by the US National Security Agency.
The report said a shield law was needed in the United States to create a safe environment for the freedom of speech.
Finland, the Netherlands and Norway landed atop the free press list as the best countries for investigative journalism, with Eritrea in the Horn of Africa bringing up the rear.
Reprinted from The Voice of Russia.