The Official Secrets Act was put in place in 1991 to provide protection of state secrets and official information relating to national security.
The Act applies in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and in overseas crown territories and colonies. It also applies to British subjects abroad.
Section 1 of the Act deals with the penalties of spying. It outlines how people could. If a person is found guilty of an offence under this section, they could be jailed for 14 years.
The subsection reads: ‘1. — (1) If any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State—
‘(a) approaches, [inspects, 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, [collects, records, or publishes,] or communicates to any other person [any 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’