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Official Secrets Act 1911

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1 Penalties for spying.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)If any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State—

(a)approaches, [F1inspects, passes over] or is in the neighbourhood of, or enters any prohibited place within the meaning of this Act; or

(b)makes any sketch, plan, model, or note which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy; or

(c)obtains, [F1collects, records, or publishes,] or communicates to any other person [F1any secret official code word, or pass word, or] any sketch, plan, model, article, or note, or other document or information which is calculated to be or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy;

he shall be guilty of felony . . . F2

(2)On a prosecution under this section, it shall not be necessary to show that the accused person was guilty of any particular act tending to show a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, and, notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may be convicted if, from the circumstances of the case, or his conduct, or his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State; and if any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information relating to or used in any prohibited place within the meaning of this Act, or anything in such a place [F1or any secret official code word or pass word], is made, obtained, [F1collected, recorded, published], or communicated by any person other than a person acting under lawful authority, it shall be deemed to have been made, obtained, [F1collected, recorded, published] or communicated for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State unless the contrary is proved.

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