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Key Votes

HR 2102 - Reporter's Source Confidentiality Guidelines - Key Vote

National Key Votes

Tom Cole voted Yea (Passage) on this Legislation.

Read statements Tom Cole made in this general time period.

Stages

Family

Issues

Stage Details

Legislation - Placed on Calendar (Senate) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (398-21) - (Key vote)

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.

Highlights:
  • 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]).
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Reporter's Source Confidentiality Guidelines

Sponsors

  • Frederick C. 'Rick' Boucher (VA - D) (Out Of Office)

Co-sponsors

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