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What is the Espionage Act?



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Espionage is spies that hi are used to spy on enemies. They look for their special plans and find out what is happening in the enemy base.

An espionage act is "a federal law that criminalizes and punishes espionage, spying and related crimes." (Garner, 2004, p. 585)

One good example of an espionage act is the Espionage Act of 1917, which was a federal statute passed on the 15th of June, 1917. The Espionage act of 1917 is composed of nine sections. Section 1 addressed espionage itself, prohibited actions such as obtaining information or committing actions to the purpose of spying or harming the United States or to benefit foreign countries. Section 2 prohibited the communication of such information with the intent to injure the United States and listed the punishment in wartime as death or imprisonment for more than thirty years. Section 3 prohibited false reports and attempts to cause insubordination with the intention to interfere with the operation or success of the military. Sections 4 and 5 prohibited conspiracy and aiding persons trying to commit espionage. Sections 6, 7 & 8 discussed related issues and section 9 repealed the entitles "An Act to prevent the disclosure of national defence secrets," of 1911. The act can be enforced "when the United States is at war." (Garner, 2004, p. 585)

The Espionage act of 1917 was later followed by the Espionage act of 1918, which was repealed in 1921. (Garner, 2004, p. 585)

Works Cited:

Excerpt from the original (1917) US Espionage Act

Garner, Bryan A., and Henry Campbell. Black. Black's Law Dictionary. St. Paul, MN: West, 2004.