There is a scene in the movie where Erica Van Doren (Vera Farmiga) is given a lie detector test because the CIA suspects that she leaked her own identity. Rod Lurie brought in a real life polygraphist to polygraph her for the scene. He asked her if her name was Erica Van Doren and if she worked for the CIA. After the scene was over the polygraphist called Lurie over to tell him that Farmiga beat the polygraph test because the machine said that she was telling the truth.
The plot loosely incorporates the real-life drama of former CIA agent Valerie Plame and New York Times writer Judith Miller (who served 85 days in jail on the same charges). Valerie Plame's story was eventually adapted into a feature film starring Naomi Watts in Fair Game (2010).
Floyd Abrams, who plays the judge in the film and is also credited as technical advisor, is a real-life attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), for which he has litigated cases raising issues of First Amendment rights and national security similar to those at the heart of the film's plot.
Alan Alda had previously acted in Rod Lurie's earlier film Resurrecting the Champ (2007). Not only are both films based on true stories, but they also deal with the issues of journalism, family vs. work, and identity.