See How Your Politicians Voted
Title: Reporter's Source Confidentiality Guidelines
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that prohibits the federal government or a communications service provider from requiring a reporter to disclose writings, recordings, photographs, or the identity of a source, except under certain conditions.
- Defines a communications service provider as an entity "that transmits information of the customer's choosing by electronic means," including telecommunications carriers, interactive computer service providers, and information service providers (Sec. 4).
- Prohibits any federal entity or communications service provider from requiring a reporter to disclose information or testimony in a criminal investigation unless a court determines that the entity has exhausted other alternative sources and that reasonable grounds exist to believe a crime has been committed (Secs. 2[a] & Sec. 3[a]).
- Prohibits any federal entity or communications service provider from requiring a reporter to disclose the identity of a source unless all alternative sources have been exhausted and such identification is needed to (Secs. 2[a(3)] & Sec. 3[a]):
- Prevent a terror attack or other significant and specified harm to national security;
- Prevent death or bodily harm;
- Determine the identity of someone who has leaked a trade secret;
- Determine the identity of someone who has leaked individually identifiable health information or other nonpublic personal information; or
- Determine in a criminal investigation the identity of a person who has leaked classified information that will cause significant harm to national security.
- Requires that any information or testimony a reporter is required to disclose shall be limited to prevent the disclosure of nonessential information (Secs. 2[c] & Sec. 3[a]).
- States that a reporter's personal witnessing of an alleged crime and audio or visual recording of an alleged crime are not covered by these protections (Secs. 2[e] & Sec. 3[a]).
- Provides journalists the opportunity to appear before the court before writings, recordings, or photographs sought by a communications service provider are compelled to be disclosed (Sec. 3[b]).