54-year-old Harold Martin, an ex-NSA contractor has been accused of taking a total of 50 terabytes of classified data without authority. Martin has agreed to plead guilty to one count of willful retention of national defence information to the United States Department of Justice.
The court filings from Wednesday and authorities who seized the stolen material have indicated that this could be the biggest theft of United States classified information in history.
Prosecutors have stated that Martin, who had been indicted in February 2017, had collected extremely sensitive government information from the United States intelligence community over a span of 20 years. According to the indictment, the positions that he held, his access to highly classified government computer systems and his attainment of high-security clearances, provided him with clear entry to highly restricted information. It stated further that he had stolen documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Cyber Command and the National Reconnaissance Office.
However, Martin’s lawyers have stated that he didn’t intend to use the data for espionage purposes, and was considered a ‘compulsive hoarder’.
Martin is facing 10 years in prison for his actions.
Interestingly, Martin was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp, a management services consulting company, who had also employed Edward Snowden, made infamous for leaking various government documents that disclosed surveillance operations carried out by the NSA in both domestic and international settings.
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