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senate Bill S. 448

Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedFebruary 13th, 2009

Bill Details

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Free Flow of Information Act of 2009

Official Title

A bill 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.


Free Flow of Information Act of 2009 - Prohibits a federal entity from compelling a covered person (journalists and their employers, etc.) to testify or produce any document relating to protected information unless a court makes specified determinations by a preponderance of the evidence, including that all reasonable alternative sources have been exhausted, that the testimony or document sought is essential, and that nondisclosure would be contrary to the public interest, taking into account both the public interest in compelling disclosure and the public interest in gathering news and maintaining the free flow of information. Requires the content of compelled testimony or documents to be limited and narrowly tailored. Creates exceptions relating to alleged criminal or tortious conduct, prevention of death, kidnapping, or substantial bodily injury, prevention of terrorist activity, or prevention of national security harm. Applies this Act to communications service providers with regard to: (1) a communication to which a covered person is a party; (2) any document relating to such a communication; or (3) the contents of such a communication. 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. Declares that this Act does not supersede, dilute, or preclude any law or court decision compelling or not compelling disclosure by a covered person or communications service provider of information identifying a source who provided information without a confidentiality promise made as part of engaging in journalism or records, communication data, documents, or information obtained without a confidentiality promise.

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