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Unmasking a US secret agent may soon be against the law. Prodded by a July 4 attack on a CIA agent in Jamaica, Congress is pushing through a law that would make it illegal to identify any intelligence operative who has been working abroad.

Main target: periodicals like the Covert Action Information Bulletin, which regularly print lists of the CIA's men overseas.

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One version of the bill has reached the House floor. Sources say the proposal should pass.

Opponents claim the legislation violates the First Amendment. It would hamper legitimate investigations by the press, they say, and could prevent disclosure of government abuses.m

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