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Ex-NSA Contractor Gets Nine Years for Stealing Secret Docs

A former government contractor has been sentenced to nine years behind bars after stealing as much as 50TB of sensitive information over two decades.

Harald Martin III, 54, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to all charges – having previously denied them – back in March.

From December 1993 to August 27, 2016, he was employed by at least seven different defense contractors including Edward Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton.

He worked at the NSA and a number of other government agencies, holding security clearances up to Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) at various times.

For a period of over 20 years, Martin has admitted stealing and keeping documents relating to national defense: both hard copies and digital, and including Top Secret and SCI information.

“As detailed in his plea agreement, Martin retained the stolen documents and other classified information at his residence and in his vehicle. Martin knew that the hard copy and digital documents stolen from his workplace contained classified information that related to the national defense and that he was never authorized to retain these documents at his residence or in his vehicle,” a DoJ statement noted.

“Martin admitted that he also knew that the unauthorized removal of these materials risked their disclosure, which would be damaging to the national security of the United States and highly useful to its adversaries.”

The big question is why Martin stole the documents. His defense team claimed it was only so that he could bone up on work at home to get better at his job. He was linked in some news reports to major leaks of sensitive government information by WikiLeaks and Shadow Brokers, although never charged.

Martin’s nine-year sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.

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