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Proposals to Criminalize the Unauthorized Disclosure of the Identities of Undercover United States Intelligence Officers and Agents -- Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Legislation, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 96th Congress, 2nd Session, January 30-31, 1980

NCJ Number
Date Published
167 pages
The Subcommittee on Legislation of the House Select Committee on Intelligence convened hearings in January 1980 to evaluate proposals for criminalizing the unauthorized disclosure of undercover intelligence officers and agents.
The opening statement at the hearings noted that U.S. intelligence activities have been exposed to public scrutiny with respect to American values, morals, laws, and constitutional precepts. The opening statement indicated that both sides of the debate over intelligence activities acknowledge it is necessary and proper for the United States to have a clandestine intelligence service and that a clandestine intelligence service cannot function if identities of undercover officers and agents are continually being subjected to public view. Hearing participants discussed the damage to national security and the danger to individuals that may be caused by misguided disclosures, activities of the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies, covert intelligence operations, espionage statutes, the need to protect classified information and sources, and legislative proposals designed to protect undercover intelligence officers and agents. Hearing participants included representatives of Federal and State government agencies, as well as representatives from the private sector. Testimony was supplemented by prepared statements and materials submitted for the record.