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47 U.S. Code § 21 - Submarine cables; willful injury to; punishment

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Any person who shall willfully and wrongfully break or injure, or attempt to break or injure, or who shall in any manner procure, counsel, aid, abet, or be accessory to such breaking or injury, or attempt to break or injure, a submarine cable in such manner as to interrupt or embarrass, in whole or in part, telegraphic communication, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, on conviction thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine not exceeding $5,000, or to both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

(Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, § 1, 25 Stat. 41.)
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Short Title

Act Feb. 29, 1888, ch. 17, 25 Stat. 41, which enacted sections 21 to 33 of this title, is popularly known as the “Submarine Cable Act”.

International Convention

The protection of submarine cables was made the subject of an international convention between the United States and Germany, Argentine Confederation, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Spain, United States of Columbia, France, Great Britain, Guatemala, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Salvador, Servia, Sweden and Norway, Uruguay, and the British Colonies. It was concluded Mar. 14, 1884, ratified Jan. 26, 1885, ratifications exchanged Apr. 16, 1885, proclaimed May 22, 1885, and entered into force for the United States May 1, 1888. Its provisions were set forth in 24 Stat. 989 to 1000.