Feature

Leaker charged

The Justice Department has charged a former National Security Agency software expert with leaking classified information to a journalist.

In a rare prosecution of a whistle-blower, the Justice Department has charged a former National Security Agency software expert with leaking classified information to a journalist. Thomas Drake, 52, allegedly sent a Baltimore Sun reporter hundreds of e-mails that documented weaknesses in several NSA programs to collect and analyze electronic intelligence.

Press organizations said the prosecution would discourage whistle-blowers from exposing government wrongdoing. “The whole point of the prosecution,” said Lucy Dalglish of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, “is to have a chilling effect on reporters and sources, and it will.”

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