Have You Read Wikileaks? Prepare to Be Indicted.
12/15/2010 10:12:00 AM - Jillian Bandes
Assange is likely to be tried under the Espionage Act of 1917, but this could pose a problem for the rest of us. Computer World
Legal experts warn that if there is an indictment under the Espionage Act, then any citizen who has discussed or accessed "classified" information can be arrested on "national security" grounds.
According to the Act, anyone "having unauthorized possession of, access to....information relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense" which "could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation" and "willfully retains" that information, can be fined or imprisoned "not more than ten years, or both."
This is why the State Department and other government agencies have warned their employees not to check out the illicit material — even though that may be the best way to get them to check it out in the first place.