Snowden déjà vu? Second NSA contractor stole classified docs

For the second time in three years a NSA contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton successfully stole highly classified information while working for the super-secret spy agency.

NSA Headquarters, Ft. Meade, Md. (U.S. government agency photo, public domain)

WASHINGTON, October 6, 2016 — For the second time in three years, an NSA contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton has stolen highly classified information while working for the super-secret spy agency. FBI agents identified the contractor as Harold T. Martin. Martin was arrested last summer, while working at his home.

This latest arrest shows the NSA failing to prevent illegal access to classified information.

The criminal complaint charged Martin with “theft of government property and unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials by a government employee or contractor.” FBI agents recovered thousands of classified documents at Martin’s home.

“Those documents were produced through sensitive government sources, methods and capabilities, which are critical to a wide variety of national security issues. The disclosure of the documents would reveal those sensitive sources, methods and capabilities.”

The Justice Department unsealed the complaint—which was filed in United States District Court in Baltimore—after the New York Times notified the government it intended to publish a story about Mr. Martin. Martin’s lawyer released a statement saying he had no intention of betraying his country.

“We have not seen any evidence. But what we know is that Hal Martin loves his family and his country. There is no evidence that he intended to betray his country.”

Martin’s case has drawn comparison to Edward Snowden, who was working as a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton when he stole and leaked classified documents to British journalists. According to the New York Times, the NSA is investigating whether Martin stole computer codes that the NSA used to break into foreign networks.

The FBI is still investigating whether the documents were leaked or just kept at Martin’s home.

This latest breach is a serious blow to the White House, which has faced a number of disclosures of classified intelligence. President Obama’s presidency had to deal with the damage caused by the Snowden revelations and the WikiLeaks release of State Department documents.

Booz Allen Hamilton has remained silent following the revelations of a second hacker that infiltrated their security. This latest breach could deal a serious blow to Booz Allen’s business deals with the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

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