(NEW YORK) — It may be a free country but a lot of American writers are apprehensive about expressing themselves fully.

That’s the finding of a survey by the Pen American Center, which polled more than 770 writers from 50 countries that are supposedly liberal democracies.

About three quarters of the respondents say they’re worried about their governments snooping on them.

In comparison, eight in 10 writers living in Russia, China and Sudan, where restrictions on free speech are greater, are fearful of government surveillance.

In the U.S., 27 percent of writers admit they’ll skip writing or talking about a particular issue out of fear that they’re being spied upon.

As a result of these findings, the Pen American Center says Congress should do more to clamp down on the surveillance powers of the National Security Agency and FBI.