Law Enforcement

Contractor indicted for stealing spy secrets

NSA headquarters 

A former NSA contractor was indicted for allegedly stealing government secrets.

A federal grand jury indicted contractor Harold Martin on Thursday for allegedly stealing government secrets over a 20 year period.

From December 1993 to August 2016, Martin worked for at least seven government contracting firms and was assigned to several components of the Defense Department and various intelligence agencies, according to his indictment.

At the time of his arrest in Aug. 2016, Martin was working for Booz Allen Hamilton at the National Security Agency. The arrest was only made public last October.

The indictment lists 20 counts, one count for each document he is alleged to have taken. Agencies that had documents allegedly stolen by him include the NSA, U.S. Cyber Command, the National Reconnaissance Office and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Each count carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

After the FBI arrested Martin and searched his home and property in August, they said they found what is possibly the biggest stash of classified documents in U.S. history. They said he had terabytes of information. Computers and storage devices were found in his home, his car and a shed in his yard, according to FBI reports.

They also found boxes of paper documents.

One thing the indictment does not do is accuse of Martin of selling or distributing the information he is alleged to have stolen.

In fact, his motive appears to be unclear.

Most of the documents Martin is alleged to have taken are from the NSA and include classified leadership briefings, specific information on methods, capabilities, techniques and processes, and documents on specific operations.

There also was an NSA user's guide for an intelligence gathering tool and a description of the technical architecture of an NSA communications system.

Documents from the Cyber Command were allegedly taken just days before his arrest on Aug. 27, and included details on U.S. cyber capabilities and vulnerabilities.

Martin is set to be arraigned on Feb. 14.

In the aftermath of his arrest, Booz Allen fired Martin and brought on former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct an external review of the company’s security, personnel and management practices.

A Booz Allen spokesman said that review is still ongoing.

A version of this article originally appeared in FCW's sibling publication Washington Technology.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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