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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Free Flow of Information Act is a bill intended to provide a news reporter with the right to refuse to testify as to information or sources of information obtained during the newsgathering and dissemination process.

While numerous U.S. states have shield laws, the federal government has no such law. The bill is an effort to enact a shield law at the federal level.

The bill was introduced to the United States Senate by Sens. Richard Lugar and Chris Dodd in 2007.[1] It was proposed in its current form by Sen. Arlen Specter.[2]

In the bill's present form in the Senate, it would not act as an unqualified immunity for journalists. Instead, federal judges would be allowed to declare certain news stories as having a public interest based on information obtained from condifential sources during the newsgathering process.

In October 2007, the Free Flow of Information Act was passed by the United States House of Representatives.

More than 50 media companies and organizations support the bill.[3] The administration of President George W. Bush opposed it.[4] Speaking to the Associated Press annual meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 2008, Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, said "Despite concerns I have about the legislation, I have narrowly decided to support it."[5]


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