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The Bond bill

From the Fall 2006 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 10. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-Mo.) introduced…

From the Fall 2006 issue of The News Media & The Law, page 10.

Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-Mo.) introduced a bill (S.3774) in August that would criminalize the disclosure of classified information. Here are some important provisions of the bill:

Prohibits unauthorized disclosure of classified information by an officer or employee of the United States government. Even employees no longer employed by the government who signed a nondisclosure agreement could be punished.

Classified information is defined as “information or material properly classified and clearly marked” but also information the “person knows or has reason to believe has been properly classified by the appropriate authorities.” This means that unmarked documents could be considered classified if the government can prove that there was some reason to believe that the information could be classified.

A government employee who discloses information without authorization from a statute, executive order, or directive from the head of any agency that is capable of classifying information faces a fine and up to three years in prison. — HS