Light Sentence for Ha'aretz Reporter in Anat Kam Affair
Ha'aretz writer Uri Blau was sentenced to four months of community service as punishment for his role in the major IDF data leak in 2008, when he received 1,800 sensitive security documents from Anat Kam, who at the time was a secretary in the IDF. Kam stole the documents using a USB flash drive (”disk on key”) and transferred them to Blau, who was in London at the time. Blau remained in London until 2010, when he returned to Israel and submitted the documents to security officials.
Blau published several articles based on the documents, which were marked “secret” and “top secret.” Those articles, however, were approved for publication by the IDF censor. The documents laid out civilian and military analyses by top generals, targets the IDF was interested in eliminating, etc.
Attorneys for Blau and Ha'aretz, Blau's employer, along with prosecutors, agreed in a plea bargain to sentence Blau to four months of community service. The deal came after Blau's indictment was adjusted; all references to “spying” were eliminated, and Blau pleaded guilty to holding secure defense documents without intent to harm the state. The indictment said that “by holding the documents unsupervised, there was a potential for damage to state security.”
Anat Kam was convicted last November of security violations for stealing the documents from the office of the IDF Central Command, where she worked. Kam was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail, also as part of a plea deal. The court, in its decision, slammed Kam for “taking sensitive documents without permission or authority. Simply exposing these documents is an inherent violation of state security. This act was a violation of all the basic principles of responsibility and trust. If the IDF cannot trust its soldiers it cannot function,” the court added.