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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 stmok on 5/19/2013 11:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
This is what happens when Liberalism (socialism, state'ism, Collectivism) is allowed to thrive: Tyranny. It's happened everywhere else the ideology has taken root, and now it's happening here.

Correct. This behaviour is NOT isolated to USA. Here in Australia, the Left is in power with the first female Prime Minister named Julia Gillard. (Her historical background through her university years indicates she's a Socialist-Feminist in terms of political ideology).

In the last 18 months, her Govt has tried to:

* legally enforce politically correct speech through proposing a draft to expand Anti-Discrimination Laws. The goal was to make them broad so that one can be easily claim they "feel offended". The accused will then be PRESUMED GUILTY until proven innocent. The REAL objective was to shut down opposing political views that doesn't align with current Govt. They tried to disguise the move under the banner of "consolidating" existing laws to make it simpler!

This was fought against and won by a vocal group with the support of various reps with a strong legal reputation in some states. Her Attorney-General who tried to push this through even stepped down a week later!

* This was followed by "Media Reform". An attempt to rush through new rules to shut the media up. ie: They're blaming the media for their own failings as a Govt. This failed as well, as no one in Parliament would support it until more details were released. Since they couldn't provide details, they gave up!

You may think: how does Obama and Gillard relate?

* They follow the same political ideologies.
=> 2010 campaign slogan of Gillard: "Moving Forward"
=> 2012 campaign slogan of Obama: "Forward"

* They speak the same vocabulary and behave similarly.
=> Everyone should "pay their fair share". Especially the rich. (Class warfare).
=> They divide the nation through class, gender, race, etc.
=> Both have policies that stifle small business owners.
=> Both have strong union backers to keep them in power.
=> Both use the poor or disadvantaged to justify "social justice" policies. (Welfare benefits.)
=> Both hide behind political correctness. Obama has race. Gillard has gender. (If you oppose Obama, you are a RACIST. If you oppose Gillard, you are a MISOGYNIST!)
=> They don't stop excessive spending!
=> They "solve problems" by introducing more layers of red tape and it results in employment of more Govt workers!
=> Both hurt their respective countries economically. USA isn't doing well as it can, and Australia will be in deficit/debt for the next 4 yrs.

* You guys had your Election last year, and I noticed it was quite dirty in the sense that every pointless trivial thing was picked as a political issue. ie: Big Bird, Binders full of women, free Abortion pills, etc. (Everything else that supposed to matter to the Nation was quashed.)

We have our Election this year, Gillard is doing the same damn thing! She's trying to paint the Opposition (Conservative male) as a woman hater, etc because she has no record to run on after 3 years! (We're heading into deficit/debt for the next 4 yrs because of her!).

There's one thing these Left leaning Govts have most in common.
=> No humility. They will never admit they're wrong. They will NEVER be upfront or truthful to the people. Its always someone else or something else that is at fault. Excuses with lots of spinning. When the crapper hits the fan, they always distance themselves or have a sacrificial lamb to take the fall for them...Just hoping the public will have short memories and the problem will just fade away over time!

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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