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Federal Shield Bills, with Bipartisan Support, Filed in Senate, House

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  1. Protecting Sources and Materials
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Identical reporter-source shield bills, titled the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, have been filed in both the U.S. House and Senate (HR 2102 and S 1267). The legislation grants a limited privilege to reporters to protect the identities of their confidential sources. The exceptions involve national security, prevention of death or bodily injury, and disclosures involving trade secrets of significant value, personal health and privat e financial information where a judge determines that the harm outweighs the public interest in the information. Reps. Rick Boucher, D-VA., John Conyers, D-MI, John Yarmuth, D-KY, Mike Pence, R-IN, and Rep. Howard Coble, R-NC, co-sponsored the House bill. Sens. Richard Lugar, R-IN, Christopher Dodd, D-CT, Pete Domenici, R-NM, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Mary Landrieu, D-LA, are co-sponsoring the Senate bill. (5/2/07)