Industry News

20 years of top-secret data stolen; NSA contractor faces 200 years in prison

An NSA contractor was indicted Wednesday by the federal grand jury over a massive theft of top secret national security data, announced the Department of Justice.

Former Navy officer and 52-year-old Harold Thomas Martin has allegedly been stealing classified information for 20 years from US agencies like US Cyber Command, the CIA and the National Reconnaissance Office, and keeping the documents in his home and vehicle in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

“Willfully retaining highly classified national defense information in a vulnerable setting is a violation of the security policy and the law, which weakens our national security and cannot be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the FBI’s Baltimore Division. “The FBI is vigilant against such abuses of trust, and will vigorously investigate cases whenever classified information is not maintained in accordance with the law.”

Between December 1993 and August 2016, Martin was an employee of seven private companies with Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearance to work with government agencies. As a result, he had access to US government IT infrastructures, programs and classified documentation, including TOP SECRET/SCI. The man allegedly began collecting the information in 1996.

“As a private contractor who worked on classified programs at various U.S. government agencies, the defendant was entrusted with access to sensitive government materials,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “Martin allegedly violated the trust our nation put in him by stealing and retaining classified documents and other material relating to the national defense. Insider threats are a significant danger to our national security and we will continue to work relentlessly with our law enforcement and intelligence partners to identify, pursue and prosecute such individuals.”

The Department of Justice hasn’t disclosed why he allegedly “willfully retained national defense information” or what he did with it.

Martin faces up to 200 years in prison, 10 for each count.

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.


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