Thursday, October 20, 2016

Last Call For Spies Like Us

So if you recall the news that yet another NSA contractor was busted for stealing classified data back in August, well it turns out that there's a whole new level of problematic with what the FBI found when they looked deeper into this rabbit hole.

Government lawyers on Thursday said they would prosecute a former National Security Agency contractor accused of stealing classified information under an espionage law, a move carrying far more severe penalties than previously announced charges.

Harold Thomas Martin spent over two decades pilfering classified information from multiple government agencies, federal prosecutors said in a new filing made in a U.S. District Court in Baltimore. They expected to bring charges that included violations of the Espionage Act, the filing said.

The amount of stolen data is estimated to be at least fifty terabytes, enough to fill dozens of hard drives, prosecutors said, adding that the alleged criminal conduct "is breathtaking in its longevity and scale." Some officials have said the trove may amount to the largest heist of classified government information in history.

An attorney representing Martin was not immediately available for comment.

Among the material allegedly stolen by Martin included a top secret document that contained "specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies," the prosecutors said.

U.S. officials announced in a criminal complaint earlier this month that Martin, 51, was taken into custody in Maryland in August and charged with felony theft of classified government material. It did not allege a motive.

The FBI is investigating possible links between Martin and the leak online this summer of secret NSA hacking tools used to break into the computers of adversaries such as Russia and China, U.S. officials said.

In other words, this guy was most likely one of the most successful Russian moles in history.  He stole classified data over more than twenty years and did untold damage to the US intelligence community.

I'm glad this guy got caught but I think we're going to be spending a long time cleaning up after this guy.  I'm old enough to remember Aldrich Ames, and Martin here makes Ames look like a cub scout.

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