House bill would protect media sources

Oct. 17, 2007 at 3:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. journalists could gain federal protection from having to reveal their confidential sources thanks to a new bill passed by the House of Representatives.

Sponsored in part by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the approved bill represents a positive step towards the first federal protection for confidential media sources in U.S. history, The Washington Post said Wednesday.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who co-sponsored the bill along with Conyers and Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., said the Free Flow of Information Act could help ensure the future of a free press.

"Without the promise of confidentiality, many important conduits of information about our government will be shut down," he told the Post.

The bill, passed by the House 398 to 21 Tuesday, has yet to go before the Senate and President George Bush has said he may veto the measure because it "could severely frustrate -- and in some cases completely eviscerate -- the federal government's ability to investigate acts of terrorism and other threats to national security."

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