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Paper Topic:

Constitutionality of Free Speech vs. Threats to National Security

1 . Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 is one of the key pieces of legislation defining the legal framework of the Novak 's case As the articles states , the Act `prohibits those who have authorized access to classified information from intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert agent to anyone not authorized to receive such classified information (Eun , 2005 . Therefore , the officials in the Administration that leaked Plame 's identity can be held responsible under the Act

2 . Criminal punishment or threat of punishment might conflict with First Amendment protections of

freedoms of speech and press in the cases when journalists are publishing information for the considerations of public good . If journalists are threatened to publish any information of community importance , such information will never reach citizens

3 . Novak 's publication of Valerie Plame 's identity could jeopardize national security by `endangering the lives of the operatives as well as their contacts (Eun , 2005 . Identities of covert operatives and details of covert operations should be held in secrecy for the purposes of success of their activities and integrity of the body of government data

4 . While journalists are granted the right of free speech under the First Amendment , under certain circumstances they can be asked to reveal the identity of their sources . If they refuse to do so , they might be found guilty of contempt for court : `A contempt proceeding may be held when a journalist is subpoenaed to testify concerning his or her sources , but the journalist defies the judge 's to bear witness (Eun , 2005 . No has been prosecuted for contempt in Plame 's case , since Novak might assert the protection of the First Amendment on the grounds he didn 't obtain the information in illegal way


Eun , Eunnice (Summer 2005 . `Journalists caught in the crossfire Robert Novak , the First Amendment , and journalist 's duty of confidentiality ' The American Criminal Law Review (42 )3 : 1073-92...

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