Archive November 2007

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Poughkeepsie Journal – Reporters need solid shield law

Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal
Nov. 12, 2007

The "Free Flow of Information Act of 2007" is as good as it sounds, and U.S. senators should pass it, joining their House counterparts in giving the press the authority to carry out its watchdog role.

By a resounding 398-21

Daily Freeman – Journalists and sources

Daily Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.
Nov. 7, 2007

The U.S. Senate is dithering over legislation to extend federal protection to journalists and their confidential sources. It's long past time to move forward and adopt sensible protections that support the operation of the First Amend

Connecticut Post – Senate should pass shield law

Connecticut Post, Bridgeport
Sept. 22, 2007

The United States Senate is supposed to vote on the "Free Flow of Information Act" this week. Better known as a reporter's shield law, the House of Representatives has already passed its version. The Senate should do the same.

San Jose Mercury News – Shield law key to watchdog journalism

San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News
Nov. 1, 2007

The commitment to a free press was so important to our nation's founders that it's in the Constitution. But for the past 35 years, an important free press tool - protections for journalists who use confidential sources - has been slo

Unauthorized disclosure of classified information

Argument: Leaks of national security secrets are harmful. This bill should be opposed because sources who unlawfully leak classified information may be shielded by journalists.

Number of subpoenas issued

Argument: The DOJ claimed in its July 2007 letter that it rarely issues subpoenas, has approved only 19 source-related subpoenas since 1991, and there is no need for this legislation.

Definition of journalist

Argument: The definition of a journalist is too broad, would cover all bloggers, whether they are a journalist or not. It would also protect foreign terrorists or criminals trying to shield themselves from law enforcement by posing as journalists.

Terrorism and national security concerns

Argument: Passing this bill is bad public policy because it will hamper the government’s ability to protect our nation from terrorist attacks and other threats to national security.

The Act will not delay investigations or prosecutions

The Free Flow of Information (H.R. 2102 / S. 2035) will not delay investigations or prosecutions, and may even speed them up.