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- The National Security Headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland
Fear of government spying is chilling writers' freedom of expression
Writers in Western liberal democracies may not face the type of censorship seen in some parts of the world, but their fear of government surveillance is still causing many to think twice about what they can say.
A PEN America survey showed that "34 percent of writers in liberal democracies reported some degree of self-censorship (compared with 61 percent of writers living in authoritarian countries, and 44 percent in semi-democratic countries). Almost 60 percent of the writers from Western Europe, the United States ... indicated that U.S. credibility 'has been significantly damaged for the long term' by revelations of the U.S. government surveillance programs."