Summary: H.R.581 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.581. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (02/02/2005)

Free Flow of Information Act of 2005 - Prohibits Federal entities from compelling covered persons (specified media outlets or their employees) to testify or produce any document unless a court determines by clear and convincing evidence that: (1) the entity has unsuccessfully attempted to obtain such testimony or document from all non-covered persons; and (2) in a criminal matter, based on information from a non-covered person, there are reasonable grounds to believe a crime has occurred and the testimony or document is essential to the investigation, prosecution, or defense; or (3) in a non-criminal matter, based on information from a non-covered person, the testimony or document is essential to a dispositive issue of substantial importance.

Requires the content of compelled testimony or documents to be: (1) limited to the purpose of verifying published information; and (2) narrowly tailored in subject matter and time period covered.

Excludes certain commercial or financial information from coverage under this Act.

Prohibits compelled disclosure, notwithstanding this Act's conditions for such disclosure, of: (1) the identity of a confidential source; or (2) information reasonably expected to lead to the discovery of such identity.

Makes this Act applicable to testimony or documents sought from third parties that are related to business transactions with covered persons. Authorizes compelled disclosure in such cases only where the covered person has received notice and an opportunity to be heard.

States that publication or dissemination of testimony or documents does not waive the requirements for compelled disclosure set forth in this Act.