Unambiguously taking within its reach the publication of the NSA terrorist surveillance story (though arguably not the Times's more recent terrorist banking story), Section 798 reads, in part:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits,This law, passed by Congress in 1950 as it was considering ways to avert a second Pearl Harbor during the Cold War, has a history that is highly germane to the present conduct of the Times. According to the 1949 Senate report accompanying its passage, the publication in the early 1930s of a book offering a detailed account of U.S. successes in breaking Japanese diplomatic codes inflicted "irreparable harm" on our security.
or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in
any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the
benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any
classified information . . . concerning the communication intelligence
activities of the United States . . . shall be fined not more than $10,000 or
imprisoned not more than ten years, or both [emphasis added].
UPDATE: Here is a great Post to match this one It gives the facts and the basics that all "REPORTERS" need to LEARN My Republican Blog
I'll keep this at the top awhile