Intelligence Identities Protection Act
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Recent news accounts have focused attention on the question of whether disclosure of the identity of a United States intelligence agent could give rise to criminal liability. In 1982, Congress passed the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L.97-200. The Act, as amended, is codified at 50 U.S.C. 421-426. Under 50 U.S.C. 421 criminal penalties are provided, in certain circumstances, for intentional, unauthorized disclosure of information identifying a covert agent, where those making such a disclosure know that the information disclosed identifies the covert agent as such and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal the covert agents foreign intelligence relationship to the United States. Other sections of the Act provide exceptions and defenses to prosecution, make provision for extraterritorial application of the offenses in section 421, include reporting requirements to Congress, and set forth definitions of the terms used in the Act. There do not appear to be any published cases involving prosecutions under this Act.
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