“Legal scholarship provides little clarity on the interpretation of § 641; only a few scholars have even acknowledged § 641's request for information,” Columbia Law Review An article on the use of law to prosecute liqueurs by law firm Wilmer Hale, written by Jessica Lutkenhaus, an attorney focusing on criminal defense. § 641 The circuit does not agree on whether the data applies and, if it does, what is its scope: what information constitutes a ‘value item'? “
The Freedom of the Press Foundation team noted that sharing information is logically fundamentally different from stealing “valuables.” “You can't steal a government jeep or take anything real or physical from a government office,” said Tim. “But copying something can be different from stealing something. You copy it, and the real thing is still there, and you just take away the paperwork that wasn't there before.”
This ambiguity has led various federal courts to come to conflicting decisions. A fourth circuit court, for example, found in 1991 that a Defense Department employee who left the DOD for a defense contractor's job and took information with him was guilty of a § 641 violation. But a ninth circuit court has come to the opposite. Conclusion, a 1959 lawsuit found that “perishable” products were not covered by 641. That ruling was later applied in 1988 by the same circuit to leak information to a naval officer accused of stealing computer punch cards related to secrecy. Encryption information. The court confirmed that the information itself did not fall under § 641 — although his appeal was somehow dismissed because he stole the physical punch cards he had stored.
Somewhere in the other Circuit Courts it has been concluded that some inquiries, for example, that 641 By Applies to information leaks but note that it does not extend to individuals covered by the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech and press – a result that is directly relevant to the Supreme Court leak of politics.
Several notable leaks in history, including Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, have also been charged under 18 USC § 641. But their use of the law was overshadowed by their trials under the espionage law, as all three were accused of leaking classified privacy, and no one set a clear precedent. Elsberg's allegations were dropped because of the Nixon administration's inappropriate government behavior, and Snowden has yet to face trial. Manning was convicted of 18 USC § 641 counts that he faced, but in a military court, not a civilian court.
All of this leaves the legal status of political liqueurs যদি if they are identified দূরে far from certain. But any convincing argument that they have committed a crime is equally troubling, the team argues. And this is especially true in cases where the leaker, with a clear interest in disclosing information, appears to have leaked a document directly to the press.
“Even if prosecutors think 18 USC § 641 applies, I have serious concerns about the First Amendment. Anyone who leaks an official document to the press about it being widely enforced,” Tim said. “Americans are like apple pie leaked to the press. And, in many cases throughout history, democracy has moved forward rather than hindered.”
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