In what appears to be a case of history repeating itself, the NSA has arrested a contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same firm that employed Edward Snowden, and charged him with unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, as well as theft of government property.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice, the contractor is 51-year old Maryland resident Harold Thomas Martin III. The criminal complaint against him states that investigators found thousands of physical and digital documents marked as top secret when they searched his home on August 27.
TechCrunch reports that the material contained hacking codes for government systems in Russia, China and North Korea. Moreover, six of the discovered documents were said to be of an extremely sensitive nature.
According to the complaint, Martin initially denied taking the documents but later admitted to storing them in his home and car, despite knowing they were classified. “Martin stated that he knew what he had done was wrong and that he should not have done it because he knew it was unauthorized,” the affidavit states.
Edward Snowden famously passed NSA documents on to journalists in 2013. It’s unclear if Martin leaked the information in the his documents, or if he passed them on to a third party. His lawyers told the New York Times: “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.”
While no connection between Martin and Snowden has been made, investigators discovered Martin’s alleged theft when they were looking into the recent Shadow Brokers leak, which exposed what appeared to be malware used by the NSA. The leak took place two weeks before Martin’s arrest, suggesting he may not have any connection to it.
If found guilty, Martin could face up to ten years behind bars for his crimes. If it’s discovered that he shared the information with anyone, the contractor may face charges under the Espionage Act, just as Edward Snowden does.
Am I correct in reading they didn't charge him under the Espionage Act? Under this administration, that's a noteworthy absence.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 5, 2016