An association of journalists is now criticizing the Obama administration for reneging on its promise to support robust protections for reporters and their confidential sources.

Lawmakers first introduced the Free Flow of Information Act years ago to shield journalists from having to reveal their anonymous confidants in federal court. Under the proposed bill, federal prosecutors could only subpoena reporters if they had already tried every other avenue to discover the information in question.

Then-candidate Barack Obama reportedly supported the robust, so-called federal shield law on the campaign trail, similar versions of which a number of states have long enacted and maintained. But on Friday, the president proposed changes to the bill contrary to his original position. The new proposal would instead limit its shield to only those cases that did not present a significant threat to national security -- a revision the Society of Professional Journalists quickly condemned.

“Not long ago, President Obama was a key supporter of this bill, but after one meeting with his national security team he appears to have been scared into making this poor decision,” SPJ President Kevin Smith said in a statement.

“President Obama was elected by the people, for the people. It’s time for him to stand up and support legislation that gives those people the power to have better oversight of their government,” Smith added.

Of course, the bill is still quite a distance from the president's desk. Although the House passed its version of the shield law in March, the Senate is still hammering out its effort. A number of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is marking up the bill, have even called the president's suggested edits "totally unacceptable."

“The White House’s opposition to the fundamental essence of this bill is an unexpected and significant setback," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the bill's Senate sponsors, told The New York Times on Thursday. "It will make it hard to pass this legislation."