- The Espionage Act was initially enacted as a part of Title 50 and functions as a law against espionage, disrupting military actions and foreign policy, hindering the initiation of the draft, and promoting insubordination and disloyalty. It aimed to prevent opposition to the United States joining World War I by classifying criticism of U.S. policies as a potential offense. Together with the Sedition Act of 1918, providing amendments, the Act was put into action for a vigorous campaign against political radicals, possible dissidents, left-wing parties, and foreign nationals. This disregard for civil rights led to widespread objections and tarnished the reputation of some key government officials during the so-called 'Palmer raids'. When opposition to war diminished and fear of a perceived Bolshevik conspiracy dissipated, some parts of the law were set aside. Currently, the law is listed under Title 18 and, as at its inception, prohibits activities related to collecting, conveying, delivering, or losing information on national defense. It deems photographing and publishing or selling data concerning defense establishments and sharing specific classified information against U.S. interests as criminal activities. It also terms planning to get involved in such acts and protecting or hiding offenders as crimes
- The government prosecuted the suspect under the Espionage Act for leaking classified documents.
- The whistleblower was careful not to violate the Espionage Act, sharing only non-classified information.
- The defendant was acquitted of charges brought under the Espionage Act, due to lack of clear evidence.