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The Official Secrets Act is Back

Secrecy News reports: �Senator Christopher Bond (R-Missouri) introduced legislation today to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.�

That legislation is identical what many open government groups and journalism organizations fought five years ago, and was called the �Official Secrets Act,� after the U.K.�s repressive criminal secrecy statutes. Leading Republicans objected to the legislation at the time including Representatives Henry Hyde (R-IL) and Bob Barr (R-GA).

Major news organizations also protested, pointing out: �several important stories -- including those involving the Pentagon Papers, the Iran-Contra affair and cases of waste, fraud and abuse in the defense industry -- were the result of classified information disclosed to journalists.�

UPDATE: The National Security Whistleblower Coalition blasts away at Bond's billClick here to see the text of the legislationVia Secrecy News, Bond's home state paper, the Kansas City Star, opposes his bill as well (free but intrusive registration required).

By: Beth Daley
Director of Investigations, POGO

At the time of publication, Beth Daley was the Director of Investigations for the Project On Government Oversight.

Authors: Beth Daley

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