Covert Agent Identity Protection Act

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The Covert Agent Identity Protection Act comes from United States Code Title 50 (War and National Defense), Chapter 15 (National Security), Subchapter IV (Protection of Certain National Security Information), Section 421. Protection of identities of certain United States undercover intelligence officers, agents, informants, and sources, according to FindLaw. [1] (U.S. Code as of: 01/02/01.)

The Act

Although the act is identified as the "Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982," its short title is the "Covert Agent Identity Protection Act":

"(a) Disclosure of information by persons having or having had access to classified information that identifies covert agent. Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
"(b) Disclosure of information by persons who learn identity of covert agents as result of having access to classified information. Whoever, as a result of having authorized access to classified information, learns the identify of a covert agent and intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent's intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
"(c) Disclosure of information by persons in course of pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents. Whoever, in the course of a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States, discloses any information that identifies an individual as a covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such individual and that the United States is taking affirmative measures to conceal such individual's classified intelligence relationship to the United States, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
"(d) Imposition of consecutive sentences. A term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be consecutive to any other sentence of imprisonment."

Defenses And Exceptions

"SEC. 602. [50 U.S.C. 422] (a) It is a defense to a prosecution under section 601 that before the commission of the offense with which the defendant is charged, the United States had publicly acknowledged or revealed the intelligence relationship to the United States of the individual the disclosure of whose intelligence relationship to the United States is the basis for the prosecution.

(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), no person other than a person committing an offense under section 601 shall be subject to prosecution under such section by virtue of section 2 or 4 of title 18, United States Code, or shall be subject to prosecution for conspiracy to commit an offense under such section.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply (A) in the case of a person who acted in the course of a pattern of activities intended to identify and expose covert agents and with reason to believe that such activities would impair or impede the foreign intelligence activities of the United States, or (B) in the case of a person who has authorized access to classified information.

(c) It shall not be an offense under section 601 to transmit information described in such section directly to either congressional intelligence committee.

(d) It shall not be an offense under section 601 for an individual to disclose information that solely identifies himself as a covert agent."

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