What is going on at the NSA? Or is it really the NSA contractor, Booz, Allen and Hamilton? Either way…this is beyond dangerous.
Bring in Harold Martin….. NBC
Read the full indictment here.
According to an indictment released Wednesday, the information stolen by Harold Martin, a former NSA contractor who was arrested in August of last year, may be far more damaging to the U.S. intelligence community than anything taken by Edward Snowden.
On October 5, the New York Times broke the story that the FBI had arrested an employee of the intelligence community over suspicions the worker had stolen highly classified computer code.
From that report:
“The contractor was identified as Harold T. Martin III of Glen Burnie, Md., according to a criminal complaint filed in late August and unsealed Wednesday. Mr. Martin, who at the time of his arrest was working as a contractor for the Defense Department after leaving the NSA, was charged with theft of government property and the unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents.”
According to the Times, a neighbor saw “two dozen FBI agents wearing military-style uniforms and armed with long guns” storm Martin’s home and later escort the man out in handcuffs.
At the time, there was speculation that Martin could be connected to stolen NSA code that found its way into the hands of a group called the Shadow Brokers — for a period, Martin worked for the elite NSA unit from which the data was taken — but even now, authorities can’t prove he actually passed on any information.
But the mere fact that he possessed such highly sensitive material is enough to put Martin away for the rest of his life, as the recently released indictment indicates.
“For more than two decades,” Business Insider wrote on Thursday, “Martin allegedly made off with highly-classified documents that were found in his home and car that included discussions of the US military’s capabilities and gaps in cyberspace, specific targets, and ‘extremely sensitive’ operations against terror groups, according to an indictment released Wednesday.”
The indictment gives the public a much clearer look at the type of data Martin allegedly stole. And next to Edward Snowden, whose security clearance limited the documents he took to mostly training materials, it appears Harold Martin’s reach went far further into the national intelligence community.
Martin is charged with 20 counts of having unauthorized possession of classified material. The government alleges that over this long intelligence career, the 51-year-old took material from the NSA, the National Reconnaissance Office, U.S. Cyber Command, and even the CIA.
Some of the items allegedly taken, according to text from the indictment, include:
A 2008 CIA document containing information regarding foreign intelligence collection sources and methods, and relating to a foreign intelligence collection target.
A USCYBERCOM document, dated August 17, 2016, discussing capabilities and gaps in capabilities of the US military and details of specific operations.
A description of the technical architecture of an NSA communications system.
An outline of a classified exercise involving real-world NSA and US military resources to demonstrate existing cyber intelligence and operational capabilities.
Martin’s first court appearance is set for February 14. If found guilty, he faces up to 200 years in prison. More here.
Meanwhile, Putin is allegedly considering returning Edward Snowden to the United States as a goodwill gesture. If so, it is a double game as Putin would never do anything out of kindness without something attached. If Snowden does stand trial for treason/espionage or theft, the United States would then have to offer up classified material and reveal sources and methods which is likely what Russia wants. The Kremlin extended the visa for Snowden until 2020.
In part from NBC: Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner, told NBC News they are unaware of any plans that would send him back to the United States.
“Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern,” Wizner said.
Snowden responded to NBC’s report on Twitter and said it shows that he did not work with the Russian government.
“Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” Snowden said. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”
Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, reacted to the report with dismay.
“There are no reasons to extradite Edward Snowden to the U.S.,” Kucherena said, according to TASS, the state-owned news agency. “This is some kind of speculation coming from so-called US special service sources. I think this topic was and remains on the political plane in the U.S., but it’s American special services that are puppeteering this story with sporadic information plants.”
“There is not the slightest reason to raise or discuss this topic in Russia,” Kucherena said.
Russia, he said, does not sell people. “The Snowden issue cannot be a bargaining chip on any level, neither political nor economic,” he said, according to the news agency.
Former deputy national security adviser Juan Zarate urged the Trump administration to be cautious in accepting any Snowden offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“For Russia, this would be a win-win. They’ve already extracted what they needed from Edward Snowden in terms of information and they’ve certainly used him to beat the United States over the head in terms of its surveillance and cyber activity,” Zarate said.