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United States v. Marchetti

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
466 F.2d 1309 (1972)


As a response to the need to protect secrecy in sensitive government matters, Congress enacted 50 U.S.C. § 403(d)(3), which made it the responsibility of the Director of Central Intelligence to safeguard intelligence sources and methods. In order to comply with this duty, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) required each of its employees to sign secrecy agreements as a condition of employment. Victor Marchetti (defendant), a former CIA employee, signed such an agreement, promising not to reveal classified or intelligence-related information, both when he began employment and again when he resigned. After leaving the agency, Marchetti published a novel and various magazine articles describing some of his experiences as an agent. Marchetti also sent an outline of a book he was working on about similar subjects to a publishing company. The government moved to block Marchetti’s future publications. Based on the agreements Marchetti signed, the district court ordered him not to release any writing relating to the agency without prior CIA authorization.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Haynsworth, J.)

Concurrence (Craven, J.)

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