White House Wants Fewer Protections in Shield Law

By: Joe Strupp President Barack Obama's administration has reportedly come out against a proposed federal shield law, at least the way it is currently structured.

The New York Times reports today White House officials told congressional leaders they opposed the legislation pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee that would shield reporters from jail time for failing to reveal sources. The Times cites "several people involved with the negotiations."

It adds that the administration sent to Congress "sweeping revisions" to the bill that "would significantly weaken its protections against forcing reporters to testify."

The current form has provisions requiring prosecutors to "exhaust other methods for finding the source of the information before subpoenaing a reporter, and would balance investigators' interests with 'the public interest in gathering news and maintaining the free flow of information.'"

But under the administration's proposal, those procedures would not apply to leaks of a matter deemed to cause "significant" harm to national security, the Times reported.

The entire story is here.


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