Saturday, October 8, 2016

Contractor Arrested in theft of NSA Secrets

By Jim Emerson, staff writer
This week the Justice Department confirmed that Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, of Glen Burnie, Md., has been arrested by the FBI for stealing highly damaging, secret information while working for the NSA.  Mr. Martin was an employee of the consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Edward J. Snowden was also a Booz, Allen contractor at the NSA. Snowden leaked surveillance programs of Americans and foreign nationals to journalists before taking asylum in Russia.
Martin was arrested in secret on Aug. 27 after an FBI search of his home, two storage sheds and vehicle turned up a mix of classified paper documents and digital files stored on multiple devices.  The agents recovered a large amount of classified information including Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI. The agency estimates that Martin had “many terabytes of information.” The agents also discovered “classified documents that had been posted online, including computer code, officials said. Some of the documents were produced in 2014.”
Sensitive compartmented information (SCI) is a type of United States classified information concerning or derived from sensitive intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes. All SCI must be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of National Intelligence. DCID 6/1 1.1.18). To access SCI or be “read in,” a candidate requires a formal “need-to-know” and be at the appropriate classification level.
FBI Agents interviewed Mr. Martin after the raid. He initially denied having taken the documents and digital files but later "admitted'' his guilt upon being confronted with the seized materials. Mr. Martin admitted what he did was wrong and that he should not have stolen the material. Investigators suspect that Mr. Martin began taking the material before Snowden’s actions became public. According to an unnamed administration official, the security reforms implemented to prevent additional leaks after Snowden’s action would not have stopped Mr. Martin.

According to Agents, Mr. Martin does fit the profile of an “insider threat.” As the Navy veteran was loyal to his country and family, the FBI believes he was only collecting classified files with no intention of passing them on to reporters or foreign entities. He has been described as a hoarder of classified material. In any event, the act itself is a serious breach of security and exposes the vulnerability of the intelligence community.

The only thing missing was the basement server.

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