Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Bart Gellman speaks to Terry Gross about breaking the story of the PRISM surveillance program, where internet companies (like Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc.) collect data and give it to the government:
The thing the intelligence community most wanted to protect in that first story [we wrote], the most they asked us to hold back was the names of the companies. And we cooperate to a considerable degree with security requests, but my argument back to them was if the damage that you’re worried about consists of the companies being less willing to cooperate or suffering a blow to their businesses because the public or their customers don’t like what they’re doing or don’t approve of the program, that’s exactly why we have to publish it. That’s the core duty we have in terms of accountability reporting.