The four and a half year sentence given to Anat Kam for her conviction on felonies of “passing confidential material” and “possession of confidential material” constitutes a heavy and deterring punishment. It is true that it was possible to sentence her up to 15 years in prison, however, 54 months in prison is no light sentence.
Beyond the sentencing itself, I’d like to emphasize two things that arise from the verdict of the Tel-Aviv District Court. The first matter is the act itself; the court determined that this was not a unique incident, it was not a momentary lapse, nor an act without a deep understanding behind it.
The judges emphasized that the act was done with Anat Kam’s full knowledge, and over a length of time. Kam held more than 2,000 documents in her hands, which she copied over time and transferred to an element outside the military.
The second matter is the severe breach of trust carried out by Kam. She was not a guard at a gate, but rather, she served as a soldier in a relatively senior position in the GOC Central Command. After passing through all the necessary security inspections, she had access to sensitive information.
On the ideological level, the court was right in determining that the IDF cannot operate if it can’t trust the people serving within it. People who are intended for IDF service are examined and receive all the necessary approvals, and are later exposed to classified information. If they betray the trust given to them, it is a grave matter.
Beyond that, the act testifies to the challenge in dealing with the issue of information security. Today, those who serve in the IDF are exposed to vast quantities of classified information through the computer network. Thus, the challenge in controlling information security is expansive. The first priority is the trust required from its servicemen. From the IDF’s perspective, it is a high level of trust, and therefore, anyone who violates it will be severely punished. The court has clearly spoken on this subject.
As far as I am concerned, this was a severe and deterring sentence that will serve towards determining penalty norms, should, heaven forbid, similar cases occur in the future.