Thursday, July 15, 2021

Larsen on the Espionage Act of 1917

Daniel Larsen, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, has posted Before “National Security”: The Espionage Act of 1917 and the Concept of “National Defense, which appears in the Harvard National Security Journal 12 (2021): 329-372:

This Article upsets current understandings of the Espionage Act of 1917 by challenging a key, long-engrained assumption about the statute itself. The Espionage Act is not the highly punitive behemoth that shrouds enormous swathes of the government in secrecy, as is presently imagined. The term “national defense” does not capaciously expand to cover any government secret a prosecutor might deem worth protecting; rather, “national defense” actually has a highly specific and coherent meaning—one that is dramatically narrower than anyone has realized. 

--Dan Ernst