- Title: NSA contractor charged with stealing secret data
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) WIDE OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT DOCUMENTS MEDIUM SHOT OF CRIMINAL COMPLAINT DOCUMENTS CLOSE-UP OF COMPLAINT READING "United States of America v. Harold T. Martin, III" MEDIUM SHOT OF COMPLAINT SHOWING CHARGES
- Embargoed: 20th October 2016 21:29
- Keywords: NSA cybersecurity contractor Bozz Allen Hamilton classified Harold Thomas Martin
- Location: WASHINGTON D.C. + FORT MEADE, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES
- Reuters ID: LVA00152QDYYV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A National Security Agency contractor has been arrested and charged with stealing highly classified information, authorities said on Wednesday (October 5), a data breach that could mark a damaging new leak about the U.S. government's surveillance efforts.
Harold Thomas Martin, 51, who worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, was taken into custody in Maryland in August, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Booze Allen is the consulting firm that employed Edward Snowden when he revealed the collection of metadata by the NSA in 2013.
The same month Martin was arrested, some of the NSA's most sophisticated hacking tools were dumped onto public websites by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers.
The U.S. Justice Department charged Martin, who had top secret national security clearance, with theft of classified government material, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Wednesday.
Word of the arrest followed a New York Times report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer "source code" developed to hack into the networks of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and other countries.
It was the latest disclosure of details of cyber spying by the U.S. government since Snowden stole and released a vast trove of documents that exposed the reach of the NSA's surveillance programs at home and abroad. It comes at a time of growing concern over the cyberhacking of federal agencies and American political parties.
According to the complaint, documents found in Martin's possession contained sensitive intelligence.
"These six documents were produced through sensitive government sources, methods, and capabilities, which are critical to a wide variety of national security issues," the complaint said. It said Martin had the ability to access U.S. government property that was not permitted to leave its authorized location.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was aware of the arrest and criminal complaint but could not offer any more details.
"The existence of that complaint obviously is an indication that there is an ongoing criminal investigation," Earnest said.
Martin's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Justice Department's chief national security prosecutor, John Carlin, declined to comment on the specifics of the case.
He said, however, that insider threats have long posed a challenge to the government.
Martin faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charges.
The leak of the NSA hacking tools coincided with U.S. officials saying they had concluded that Russia or its proxies were responsible for hacking political party organizations in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election. The Russian government has denied involvement.
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