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]).