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Measure that could punish journalists is dropped from antiterrorism bill

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  1. Prior Restraint

    NMU         WASHINGTON, D.C.         Prior Restraints         Oct 17, 2001    

Measure that could punish journalists is dropped from antiterrorism bill

  • The House approves a Senate version of the antiterrorism legislation that does not define reporting on covert agents as “terrorist” acts.

The antiterrorism measure before Congress no longer includes language that would make persons who disclose the names of covert agents subject to sanctions as terrorists.

The original House version of the bill, unanimously approved in early October by the House Judiciary Committee, listed violation of the Intelligence Agents Identities Act of 1982 as a terrorist action. That act prevents the disclosure of the identities of covert agents.

However, the measure first put before the House did not include safeguards which exist in current law to protect journalists who publish information they acquire by legitimate means.

A Senate bill did not include the provision, and the House agreed to a Senate version of the bill in mid-October.

(H.R. 2975; S. 1510) RD


© 2001 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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