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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 Ammohunt on 5/17/2013 1:44:03 PM , Rating: 1
Halliburton fulfilled a need for services associated with the war there were no other companies at the time that could do the job. obviously Dick Cheney or whomever is going to stick with what he was familiar with rather than take a risk with an unknown that's human nature. The idea of some type of conspiracy between Halliburton and Dick Cheney is so much leftist tin foil hat nonsense.

By the same reasoning if Iran or North Korea bombs the US because they believe that the US is a threat to them, then it'd be legal because their government voted to bomb the US.

Dumb analogy, we have never made threats to either nation or their allies without a previous provocation. Not to mention we are still technically at war with north Korea so we don't need a formal declaration of war its already there. Iran is parnoid unstable country run by aggressive nuts and based on your above arguments you would have not had any issue with germanys invasion of poland during the second word war…how many times do you have to hear people state that they wish Hitler was dealt with earlier rather than later. Your last name must be Chamberlain.

Why do you think that the Taliban and others like them come from it is from those that think the US and other Western countries are terrorists.

Having first hand experince with arabs and islamic culture I know exactly why the Taliban hate us. Its primarily because their culture spawned from their religion is completely and utterly antagonistic to freedom and liberty; the simple concept of basic human rights not derived from allah is offensive to them. in other words they are primitive screw heads if they can’t evolve their ideas then they will exterminate themselves.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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