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2057. Synopses Of Key National Defense And National Security Provisions

Espionage -- 18 U.S.C.§ 792 et seq. The espionage provisions of Chapter 37, Title 18, United States Code, deal with documents, material, or information, related to the national defense. Key provisions of Chapter 37 include the following sections:

Section 793 applies to activities such as gathering, transmitting to an unauthorized person, or losing, information pertaining to the national defense, and to conspiracies to commit such offenses.

Section 794 applies to: (1) persons who deliver, or attempt to deliver, information pertaining to the national defense of the United States to agents or subjects of foreign countries, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation; (2) wartime espionage; and (3) conspiracy to commit espionage.

Section 798 applies to the willful communication of classified information concerning codes or communications intelligence, or related materials, to an unauthorized person. John J. Dion, Chief of the Espionage Unit of the Internal Security Section can be reached at (202) 514-1245.

Espionage Related Offenses -- Treason 18 U.S.C. §§ 2381 and 2382. The crime of treason is covered in 18 U.S.C. § 2381. It proscribes levying war against the United States and giving comfort to the enemy. Misprision of treason is also unlawful. 18 U.S.C. § 2382.

Computer Espionage -- 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1). Section 1030(a)(1) of Title 18, U.S.C., makes it unlawful to knowingly access a computer without authorization, or beyond the scope of one's authorization, and thereby obtain information that has been classified for national defense or foreign relations reasons, with intent or reason to believe that such information is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation.

Communication or Receipt of Classified Information -- 50 U.S.C. §  783. Section 783 of Title 50, U.S.C., makes it unlawful for any officer or employee of the United States, or of any federal department or agency, to communicate to any person whom he or she knows or has reason to believe to be an agent of a foreign government, any information classified by the President or by the head of such department or agency as affecting the security of the United States, knowing or having reason to know that such information has been so classified. See 50 U.S.C. § 783(b). Conversely, it is unlawful for a foreign agent knowingly to receive classified information from a United States government employee, unless special authorization has been obtained. See 50 U.S.C. § 783(c).

Disclosing Intelligence Identities -- 50 U.S.C. § 421. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act (50 U.S.C. § 421) prohibits the unauthorized disclosure of information identifying certain United States intelligence officers, agents, informants or sources.

Foreign Agents -- 18 U.S.C. § 951. Section 951 of Title 18, United States Code, makes it unlawful for foreign agents to act as such without notifying the Attorney General, unless the agent is entitled to a statutory exemption from the registration requirement.

Neutrality Laws -- 18 U.S.C. § 952 et seq. Chapter 45 of Title 18, United States Code, entitled "Foreign Relations," covers unauthorized activities respecting foreign governments.

Passport Matters -- 8 U.S.C. § 1185(b); 18 U.S.C. § 1542 et seq. The Internal Security Section has jurisdiction over prosecutions under 8 U.S.C. § 1185(b) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1542 to 1544 when the defendants have subversive connections, or when travel to a restricted country is involved.

[cited in USAM 9-90.300]

Updated May 21, 2015