Rusbridger told the IBC legal conference in London: “It is the biggest threat to the press at the moment.”
He noted that the fact UK police secretly access telecoms data in order to identify journalists’ sources came out by “accident” in the Plebgate and Chris Huhne speeding points investigations .
He said: “There’s been some anger about this, but we haven’t seen anything like the level of journalistic anger about this as we have seen about the right to read about celebrities in paddling pools [a reference to the celebrity ‘threesome’ injunction involving The Sun].”
He added: “This is a fundamental threat to journalists and what we do…Even 18th century judges thought there was something troublesome about seizing the papers of a journalist…
“But the minute it moves from physical form into the digital form you get a shrug of the shoulders.”
In the UK, this Snooper Charter allows the government to spy on everyone including sources that reveal things to journalists. That means the news media won’t be able to keep an eye on the government anymore.
Not a good thing for democracy. Period.