Friday, August 2, 2013

Federal Shield Law in Limbo Until the Fall

English: Charles Schumer, United States Senato...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Senate Judiciary Committee this week bolstered a proposed federal shield law, the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 (S. 987), but failed to muster a final voice vote on the measure before adjourning for Congress' summer recess.

Senators were unable to agree on criteria defining who would be a  journalist eligible for protection from having to reveal confidential sources and information to authorities. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) acknowledged that information-gathering has evolved and favored a broader interpretation of journalist, whereas Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) was wary of bloggers and WikiLeaks and said the shield law should only cover "real reporters."

The Committee did unanimously consent to a "manager's amendment" that requires a judge to rule on whether a notice of a subpoena to a journalist could be delayed and would require a judge to sign off on a 45-day extension of the original 45-day suspension of notice.
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