published Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Bill shielding anonymous commenters passes Tennessee Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A measure to block courts from granting subpoenas for identities of anonymous commenters on news websites has passed the Senate.

The proposal sponsored by Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown was unanimously approved 32-0 on today. The companion bill was also scheduled to be heard Wednesday in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Currently, a person who gathers information for publication or broadcast isn’t required by a court, a grand jury, the General Assembly or any administrative body to disclose information or the source of any information “procured for publication or broadcast.”

Kelsey’s proposal adds to the current law. It does not apply, however, in cases in which defamatory comments were made.

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