May 12, 2010

CARDIN BEGINS COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF U.S. ESPIONAGE STATUTES

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee questioned witnesses today about how well the espionage statutes have worked over the last 60 years.   Cardin chaired the Subcommittee hearing which was entitled "The Espionage Statutes: A Look Back and a Look Forward."     The Subcommittee, which has oversight jurisdiction in regard to the espionage laws and their enforcement, began a comprehensive review of the statutory framework for the espionage statutes at today's hearing.

 

"Changes in technology, combined with statutory and judicial changes to the law, have rendered many of our laws on espionage obsolete. Many espionage statutes trace their roots to 1917, and the federal courts and legal commentators have been encouraging the Congress to examine these statutes for years.   The long-overdue process of reviewing our espionage statutes, to make them relevant and effective in the 21 st century, begins today," said Senator Cardin.  

 

Today's hearing, which included witnesses from academia as well as former officials from the intelligence and law enforcement communities, focused on how the statutes have been used over the years since the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War, what problems, if any, have developed, how the courts have dealt with the issues, and the policy and legal factors that the Congress should consider if it decides to modify the statutes.