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19 May, 2013

Obama’s media shield law makes prosecuting journalists even easier — RT USA

Now as the White House shifts focus from one scandal to another, free speech advocates are concerned that the shield law, as written, wouldn’t do much more than current legislation in terms of thwarting future subpoenas sent to journalists. Trevor Timm, an activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, wrote in a blog post this week that the media shield law touted by Pres. Obama during his days as a senator in Illinois failed to take shape after he secured his spot in the Oval Office.

“As a Senator, Obama was a vocal supporter of a robust shield law; he co-sponsored a bill in 2007 and campaigned on the issue in 2008,” Timm wrote. “But when the Senate moved to pass the bill as soon as Obama came into office, his administration abruptly changed course and opposed the bill, unless the Senate carved out an exception for all national security reporters.”

When Obama entered the White House in early 2009, he walked away from a Senate where a shield law he advocated for had just started to take shape. Before long, though, his own administration asked for Congress to make adjustments before it ended up on the president’s desk. That original law would, in theory, put in place safeguards that would help prevent journalists from being compelled to testify who their sources are. Once in the White House, though, Obama did an about face.

Read the rest: Obama’s media shield law makes prosecuting journalists even easier — RT USA.