N.S.A. Contractor Arrested

Lishayne King

At a time when privacy and information concerns are high, it appears that yet another government official is under investigation to determine “whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed by the [NSA] to hack into the networks of foreign governments.” On August 27th, an F.B.I. raid on contractor Harold T. Martin III’s home uncovered a large number of documents, computers, and other electronic devices, which contained a considerable amount of confidential information. The authorities have not, however, determined how Mr. Martin used the information.

A complaint filed by the Justice Department against Mr. Martin remained sealed until the New York Times “notified the government it intended to publish a story about Mr. Martin.” In a statement issued by Martin’s lawyers, they insisted that Mr. Martin “loves his family and his country,” and did not plan to be disloyal to his country.

The Obama administration’s procedures have become tighter since Mr. Snowden’s leaks, argued the press secretary for the White House, Josh Earnest. He described a task force that has been created to address these recent disclosures. Mr. Earnest further cited that the number of employees with access to confidential information has decreased by 17% over the past few years.

However, another official of the Obama administration stated that investigators believed there was a possibility that Mr. Martin started taking information before Mr. Snowden’s actions were publicized. Further, changes established after Mr. Snowden’s disclosures may not have deterred Mr. Martin.

It appears that Mr. Martin does not match the profile of an “insider threat,” stated one official of the Obama administration. However, further investigation is necessary to determine his motives. The company, Booz Allen Hamilton, that employed Mr. Martin has been cooperative with the FBI and subsequently discharged him after discovering his arrest.

See original New York Times article here: Jo Becker, Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt, and Matt Apuzzo, N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets, New York Times (Oct. 5, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/06/us/nsa-leak-booz-allen-hamilton.html?ref=technology.