Skip to main content

CPJ Concerned Over NSA Al Jazeera Surveillance

The committee to Protect Journalists said Friday it is troubled by reports that the National Security Agency spied on Al Jazeera's Islamabad bureau chief, Ahmad Muaffaq Zaidan.

The Intercept reported that the NSA said the surveillance was based on the suspicion that he was a member of Al Qaeda, but that the NSA's support for that claim looked more like a journalist maintaining sources.

"Coloring the legitimate newsgathering activities of a respected journalist as evidence of international terrorism risks chilling the vital work of the media, especially in Pakistan where journalists routinely interview Taliban and other militant groups as part of their coverage," said CPJ's Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.