"It's the combination of this policy of ‘no access for media,' plus the creation of a law that criminalizes any acts of investigative journalism or investigations," he told The Dodo. "The combination should be a concern to people who care about civil liberties."
Marceau, who also litigates for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said that the letter marked the second stage in an effort to close off factory farms to the public. First, potential whistleblowers are controlled. Second, farmers are urged not to speak to the press.
"They are staking out a position that would preclude the public access to any of the information about the farms," he said. "Now, we just have take their word that everything is fine."
The practice of outlawing whistleblowers isn't seen in any other commercial industry, he pointed out.
"We wouldn't criminalize undercover videos in child care centers to reveal child abuse, or in the banking sector to reveal financial misconduct," Marceau said. "You can't imagine another industry that would do this; thats what's so shocking."