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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Bloggers May Be Protected Under Proposed Shield Law

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U.S. Representative Mike Pence from Indiana thinks the proposed new shield law would protect me when I honor my promises of confidentiality. Bloggers who actually gather news would be protected under the proposed federal shield law.

Thank God. I may never have to go to jail to protect my sources. U.S. Representative Mike Pence from Indiana thinks the proposed new shield law would protect me when I honor my promises of confidentiality. This will be a relief to my wife who otherwise could be having lonely dinners without me.

So far in my blogging career nobody has requested confidentiality. In fact, nobody has even leaked anything to me. Just in case, I have pre-selected clandestine meeting places should anyone ever want to feed me secrets off the record. Thirty five years ago, while I was a Special Agent in the FBI, I did occasionally meet a confidential informant at the lettuce counter of a supermaket, but that might be too public a place in today’s world. Times were much simpler then. My informant was very talkative for about $100 a conversation.

Excerpts from the Pence article:

Bloggers who actually gather news would be protected under the proposed federal shield law, the legislation’s first author, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., told the Inland Press Association Monday.

Pence’s view of who would qualify as a journalist under the Free Flow of Information Act differed from the assessment of the bill’s co-sponsor in the Senate, Indiana Richard Lugar.

Exactly two weeks before speaking at the Inter American Press Association, Lugar said bloggers would “probably not” be considered journalists eligible for the act’s protections.

Pence said bloggers would likely have to be considered on a “blog-by-blog” basis.

“Frankly, there are some that are out there gathering news,” Spence said at Inland’s 120th annual meeting. “There are many people though, who just link to your newspapers. It would be hard to argue to anyone that privilege applies to those people just because they have a Web site.”