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August 10, 2006 11:11 AM Subscribe
Recipients of "Leaks" May Be Prosecuted, Court Rules
In a momentous expansion of the government's authority to regulate public disclosure of national security information, a federal court ruled that even private citizens who do not hold security clearances can be prosecuted for unauthorized receipt and disclosure of classified information.
The ruling by Judge T.S. Ellis, III, denied a motion to dismiss the case of two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who were charged under the Espionage Act with illegally receiving and transmitting classified information.
The decision is a major interpretation of the Espionage Act with implications that extend far beyond this particular case.
The Judge ruled that any First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of speech involving national defense information can be superseded by national security considerations.
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