A senior U.K. police officer was found guilty on Thursday of trying to sell information to a U.K. tabloid, marking the first criminal conviction in the scandal that caught fire in July 2011.
April Casburn, who was in the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorist financing unit, offered confidential information relating to the phone-hacking investigation to the shuttered weekly tabloid News of the World in exchange for money, prosecutors said. She was convicted of misconduct in public office.
Is President Obama really waging, as critics contend, a war on whistleblowers?
The Obama administration has tried to prosecute more people under the Espionage Act than all previous presidencies combined, leading critics to proclaim that Obama is waging a “war on whistleblowers.”
The World War One-era law was originally intended to prevent spies from getting a hold of national security information that could be used by the country’s enemies. The Obama administration prosecutions under the law, however, have concerned leaks to the media. The New York Times ran a profile over the weekend of the first former Central Intelligence Agency officer to be convicted of disclosing classified information to a reporter.
At the same time, the rights and protections of some informants have expanded significantly during Obama’s first term in office, and the rights cover an increasing number of eligible people.