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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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RE: Damage control
By ven1ger on 5/17/2013 3:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
Okay old fart, you want to call me a kid then that would make you about 90 years old, but considering that your memory is failing you. You claim the Iraq invasion was technically legal because our gov't voted for it. Well if another nation's gov't votes to bomb or do harm to some other nation then I guess it is technically legal, right?

I guess, I should maybe call you Chicken Little, everytime something with Obama comes up, you start screaming, we're going to hell because the black man in the White House is going to bring down damnation on us all. Well Chicken Little, if you memory hasn't failed you as yet, we did not invade Libya, we bombed them, and yes he failed to seek congressional approval after 90 days of bombings but if I remember correctly a lot of the war hawks wanted to put boots on the ground and thought Obama wasn't doing enough, and generally the war hawks are more on the Republican side of the coin. Considering that they were Nato planes, I'd say that it was UN sanctioned, and no American lives lost, I think. A lot better than an illegal war (but then you get mixed up between legal and illegal) with Iraq.

Straw men now...come on Chicken Little, the invasion of Iraq was not because of them violating the No-Fly Zone, it was pictures of mushroom clouds, the guarantee that WMDs would be found, the links to Al-Qaeda, talk about setting up straw men, you do know what that means right? You claiming that we invaded Iraq because of violation of a No-Fly Zone or firing on allied aircraft is an example of creating straw men. If we're to believe you, then invading Iraq with the lost of thousands of American lives, tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands maimed if you include Iraqi citizens, were worth the invasion because of firing on allied aircraft in which no American lives were lost then you are a nutjob that is willing to make up any reason to bolster your position.

Btw, thought you were done talking about Bush. Please, stay relevant. Anyway, I think I had enough giving you lessons on history, nutjobs like you work best in a vacuum when you can rail all about big bad Obama but as soon as the facts get in the way, you get your panties all in a bunch. You don't want to discuss, you want to rant, even others that try to present a different take you jump all over them just because they don't see Obama as the evil tyrant you like to believe.

I'm done with you on this thread. Unlike you I keep my word. And I'm much too busy and bored to keep following your twisted logic and revisionist history.


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