Federal Shield Law for Bloggers

I won’t tell you where I got this (OK, here–are you happy?), but there is a bill before congress, introduced by Rick Boucher, that would provide protection for bloggers who want to protect their sources. The federal shield law–called the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007–would provide federal protection for journalists who want to protect confidential sources, with a set of exceptions. Those exceptions include the standard ones found in state shield laws, as well as exceptions for national defense, violations of federal consumer laws, and trade secret violations.

That last one is an interesting one. Last year, a California court ruled that AppleInsider didn’t have to release the source of a leak to Apple. Wonder if this changes things. What it doesn’t change is the recognition that bloggers are–from the perspective of the law, if not from newpapermen–journalists, and that a journalists’ privilege, such as it is, should extend to them.

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