A NSA contractor Harold Martin lll was arrested by FBI, almost two months ago for stealing “astonishing quantity” of classified data over 20 years.
According to the court document which was filed Thrusday, the FBI took at least 50 terabytes of data in his home office. The stolen data is at least 500 million pages of data including top-secret information about “national defense”.
The data stolen by Harold Martin lll is believed to be the largest heist, far more than Edward Snowden leaks. Martin also took “six full bankers’ boxes” worth of documents, many of which were marked “Secret” and “Top Secret.” The stolen data also include the personal information of government employees. The stolen documents date from between 1996 through 2016.
NSA Contractor to Face Charges
Martin, a former Booz Allen Hamilton staffer like NSA whistleblower Snowden, should remain locked up and the government also plans to charge him with violations of the Espionage Act, Prosecutors said.
If convicted, one can face the death penalty.
Martin has “obtained advanced educational degrees” and has also “taken extensive government training courses on computer security,” including in the areas of encryption as well as secure communications.
A former US Navy veteran, Martin allegedly used a sophisticated software that “runs without being installed on a computer system and provides anonymous Internet access, leaving no digital footprint on the Machine.”
The motives of Martin are still unclear but among the seized documents investigators discovered a letter sent to Martin’s colleagues in 2007, in which he condemned the security practices of government and and referred to co-workers as “clowns”. The letter reads:
“I will leave you with this: if you do not get obnoxious, obvious, and detrimental to my future, then I will not bring you; into the light, as it were. If you do, well, remember that you did it to yourselves.”
Martin’s wife, Deborah Vinson, was “very upset” to learn about his arsenal, prosecutors said, and asked the FBI to take custody of the firearms because she was afraid that he would kill himself if he “thought it was all over.”
If Martin had taken the classified material “for his own edification, as he has claimed, there would be no reason to keep some of it in his car, and arm himself as though he were trafficking in dangerous contraband,” prosecutors said.
Martin is due to appear before US Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner for his detention hearing on Friday in Baltimore.