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March 25, 2014updated 26 Mar 2014 12:48am

New York Times reporter: Obama administration ‘greatest enemy of press freedom’

By Press Gazette

A New York Times reporter has called the Obama administration "the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation".

James Risen made the comments at a conference in New York bringing together journalism, communication and government professionals and the remarks are reported by Poynter.

Risen, who is currently fighting a court battle with the federal government over his protection of a confidential source, warned that press freedom is under serious attack in the US.

Barack Obama is visiting Europe this week and the New York Times reports that his administration is set to announce an end to "the most controversial part of the bulk phone records program, a major focus of privacy concerns since its existence was leaked last year".

The paper says the new plan would mean the  US government "would no longer systematically collect and store records of calling data. Instead, it would obtain individual orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain only records linked to phone numbers a judge agrees are likely tied to terrorism."

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