H.R. 985 (111th): Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

Introduced:
Feb 11, 2009 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)
Status:
Died (Passed House)
Sponsor
Frederick “Rick” Boucher
Representative for Virginia's 9th congressional district
Party
Democrat
Text
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Last Updated
Apr 01, 2009
Length
10 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 2102 (110th) was a previous version of this bill.

Passed House
Last Action: Oct 16, 2007

 
Status

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on March 31, 2009 but was never passed by the Senate.

Progress
Introduced Feb 11, 2009
Referred to Committee Feb 11, 2009
Reported by Committee Mar 25, 2009
Passed House Mar 31, 2009
 
Full Title

To maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.

Summary

No summaries available.

Cosponsors
50 cosponsors (33D, 17R) (show)
Committees

House Judiciary

Senate Judiciary

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

 
Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.

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Citation

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Notes

H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

We don’t have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


2/11/2009--Passed House without amendment.
Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 - Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government), in any matter arising under federal law, from compelling a covered person to testify or produce any document related to information obtained or created as part of engaging in journalism unless a court makes specified determinations by a preponderance of the evidence, including determinations that:
(1) alternative sources have been exhausted;
(2) the testimony or document sought is critical to the investigation, prosecution, or defense of a crime or the successful completion of a noncriminal matter;
(3) disclosure of an information source's identity is necessary to prevent an act of terrorism, harm to national security, imminent death, significant bodily harm or to identify a person who has disclosed a trade secret, individually identifiable health information, or certain nonpublic personal information; and
(4) the public interest in compelling disclosure of the information or document involved outweighs the public interest in gathering or disseminating news or information.
Allows a court, in making the last of those determinations, to consider the extent of any harm to national security.
Defines "covered person" as a person who regularly gathers, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, or publishes information concerning matters of public interest for dissemination to the public for a substantial portion of the person's livelihood or substantial financial gain, including a supervisor, employer, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such a person. Excludes from that definition foreign powers and their agents and certain terrorist organizations and individuals.
Requires the content of compelled testimony or documents to be limited and narrowly tailored.
Prohibits this Act from being construed as applying to civil defamation, slander, or libel claims or defenses under state law.
Exempts certain criminal or tortious conduct.
Applies this Act to communications service providers with regard to testimony or any record, information, or other communication that relates to a business transaction between such providers and covered persons. Sets forth notice requirements. Permits a court to delay notice to a covered person upon determining that such notice would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of a criminal investigation.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.


No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus Summary

The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

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