Iraqi law includes many provisions against "espionage" and journalists who may have contacts with a variety of persons and have access to governmental information are especially vulnerable to accusations of espionage. Specific acts of "espionage" include unauthorized transmission of information to - or even contacts with - foreigners.
It is remarkable that so many Iraqi decrees are publicly known, since Law No. 78 of 1977 gives the President the power not to publish laws, or to issue them in special numbered series with restricted access, if he considers that the "supreme interest of the State" requires. Nonetheless, most laws are publicly available. Publishing and broadcasting decrees is clearly intended to make them effective by instilling fear throughout the population.