Why Leakers Rarely Do Time: The Legal Case

THE LEGAL CASE

It sounds like a tough law, but hardly anyone gets charged under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. In fact, only one person is known to have been successfully prosecuted under the statute since Congress passed it in 1982 to shut down serial leakers like Philip Agee, a renegade ex--CIA operative who routinely unmasked spies in the 1970s. It is rarely invoked, in part because it was designed to stem not the epidemic of Washington security leaks but a specific and pernicious act: the deliberate revelation of a covert agent's identity.

The law is also seldom applied because it sets such...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!