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The Freedom Flow of Information Act would protect journalists from punishment if they decline to identify confidential sources in federal law enforcement proceedings

The Obama administration wants to create a federal media shield law by bringing an old bill back to life. 

Ed Pagano, President Obama’s Senate liaison, called Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) on Wednesday morning to inquire about a version of a 2009 bill called the Freedom Flow of Information Act. 

The Freedom Flow of Information Act would protect journalists from punishment if they decline to identify confidential sources in federal law enforcement proceedings. It would also allow journalists to ask a federal judge to destroy subpoenas for their phone records.

The bill would provide different levels of protection for journalists. Civil cases would receive the greatest protection, criminal cases would be similar (except the reporter would have to try and abolish the subpoena through a “clear and convincing” standard showing that the free flow of information is more important than the needs of law enforcement) and national security cases would lean in favor of the government. 

There were a couple of different versions of the bill, but the Obama administration is looking to recover the one supported by Schumer. It was jointly created by the newspaper industry and the White House, and even approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan 15-to-4 vote in December 2009. However, issues with Wikileaks exposing confidential government information on the internet put the bill on hold.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

The decision to bring this bill back to life comes amid controversy surrounding the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) subpoena to retrieve calling records of Associated Press reporters. 

DOJ used a subpoena (approved by Deputy James M. Cole) to obtain over 20 phone numbers from the Associated Press, including personal phones of AP editors/columnists and AP business phone numbers in New York; Hartford, Connecticut; and Washington. 

Furthermore, the DOJ did this without any advance notice. This puts the Associated Press' other private sources at risk and violates freedom of the press.

The reason for the subpoena was related to an article in which an unnamed government official leaked an account of a failed May 2012 bomb plot on an aircraft flying into the U.S. -- which involved the Yemen branch of Al Qaeda.

“This kind of law would balance national security needs against the public’s right to the free flow of information," said Schumer in regards to the Freedom Flow of Information Act. "At minimum, our bill would have ensured a fairer, more deliberate process in this case.”

Source: The New York Times

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typical politicrap
By talikarni on 5/16/2013 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
So they use it to go after conservatives just like his puppets in the IRS.... great idea opening this up under a government whos only real talent is corruption...

RE: typical politicrap
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 3:45:26 PM , Rating: 4
Guess it's fair as Bush used the DOJ to go after Democrats.

The underlying problem is that at least since 9/11, many of the protections that were put into place to prevent gov't overstepping itself, has been eroded in the name of national security.

RE: typical politicrap
By FITCamaro on 5/16/2013 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Bush got rid of far left liberals at the DoJ. He didn't go after groups that were allied with Democrats solely because of that.

Obama has done the same thing and then some. Remember reading an article about how every attorney hired at the DoJ since Obama took office has been a far left type.

RE: typical politicrap
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 4:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's what every administration has done it to some degree but that's not what I was referring to.

The DOJ was actively prosecuting Democrats instead of prosecuting fairly across the board. It was I believe more of a Karl Rove tactic, as it was more politically motivated.

RE: typical politicrap
By Ammohunt on 5/16/2013 9:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think you need to change your tinfoil hat.

RE: typical politicrap
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2013 4:43:20 PM , Rating: 1
lol you're so intellectually and morally bankrupt it's unbelievable. You expect someone to carry on a serious conversation with you when your only response is to parade out the tired old Bush scapegoat?

It's not even usable here. Bush sure as hell didn't empower the IRS's ability to target political adversaries did he?

So your argument is that Obama wouldn't have abused his power unless Bush, somehow, granted him those powers? Really, that's your angle!

I'm sorry but I thought in the adult world, you were ultimately responsible for the choices you made. Make all the excuses you want, Obama made decisions, and those decisions have consequences.

many of the protections that were put into place to prevent gov't overstepping itself, has been eroded in the name of national security.

Nice rhetoric until you get to the fact that everything Bush did came with built-in expiration dates. Fact is Obama was the one who extended the Patriot Act!

No matter how you slice it, Obama is singularly responsible for what's happening under his Administration right now today. Don't pretend that this would have gone a different way if Bush did things differently.

RE: typical politicrap
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 5:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Gods, you're an idiot nutcase.

All of this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Bush setting up for this sort of abuse to happen. Yes, Obama extended the stupid Patriot Act, but Bush put it in play, which allows for a lot of these abuses to happen because Bush laid the foundation. Got that. Blaming Obama for using what Bush has setup but not blaming Bush for laying the groundwork is just your idealogy showing through. If we never had a lot of these foundations laid out by Bush originally do you think that Obama could have done this? Drone strikes, warrantless wiretaps, TSA, etc., guess you were fine when Bush was doing it, but now that Obama is doing it you're all let's kill the liberals, we're heading to tyranny crap. It started with the previous administration.

RE: typical politicrap
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2013 5:41:56 PM , Rating: 1
lol that's all you have isn't it? You honestly don't see how bankrupt that line of thinking is?

Fine I'll play that game:

All of this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Bush setting up for this sort of abuse to happen.

Oh well Bush couldn't have set that all up if it wasn't for Clinton! So everything happening now, is REALLY Clinton's fault.

Are you tired of being THAT goddamned lame yet?

It started with the previous administration.


Yeah you are so right. President's were simply unable to abuse their position until that fucking George Bush came along and ruined it for all of us.

Dude are you THAT stupid?

RE: typical politicrap
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 6:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Guess you don't practice what you preach.

Thought you were done discussing Bush about 6 minutes ago...

Also wasn't it Clinton fault that 9/11 happened? Bush and his admin, kept saying that Clinton's admin, never saw it coming. Gee, and so guess the Clinton budget surplus he left behind is the cause of the severe recession under Bush and the lost of all those jobs.

Sorry, Reclaimer, guess logic fails you, maybe next time I'll just do like you and proclaim let's kill all the Right-Wing Nuts. Or like what a lot of Right-Wingers used to say, this is America, love it or leave it, don't let the door hit you in the backside.

RE: typical politicrap
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2013 5:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
lol man I AM such an idiot, you're right.

I've finally figured out this phenomenon. Deep down inside, you guys are upset at Obama. You really believed he was "the one". You believed in "Hope and Change". You were caught up in the almost orgasmic utopian fantasies that Obama would transform this sickened nation, tainted by Bush, into something you could be proud of.

And when that didn't happen, when it became clear Obama wasn't the special magical unicorn you believed him to be, you couldn't handle it. He didn't stop the wars, he didn't close Guantanamo, he didn't raise taxes, hell he barely met a single campaign promise. You were lied to! Sold snake oil!

You HAVE to blame Bush because you can't bring yourselves to blame yourself for supporting this jackass, and you sure as hell can't blame him for failing to live up to your expectations. Because deep down, you want to believe.

You have my pity.

RE: typical politicrap
By FITCamaro on 5/17/2013 5:39:14 AM , Rating: 2
Man by your logic if I build a bridge and you blow it up then I am the one responsible for the deaths of people on that bridge.

You definitely are young. Because you lack the comprehension of this concept called being responsible for your own actions. Something much of today's youth doesn't understand since they've been raised to believe no one is responsible for their actions, its always someone else's fault.

I don't excuse Bush for the bad things he did. But that doesn't excuse Obama either which is EXACTLY what YOU are doing.

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