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Government Contractor Indicted Over Theft of Secret Documents

Harold Thomas Martin III, the former U.S. government contractor arrested last year for theft of classified material, was indicted on Wednesday by a federal grand jury.

Martin, age 52, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, had worked as a security contractor for several government agencies between 1993 and 2016 through at least seven private companies. Similar to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, he worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) while employed by intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

According to authorities, Martin held Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearances, which provided him access to classified government computer systems, programs and information.

The indictment alleges that Martin stole vast amounts of classified material between 1996 and August 2016, when he was arrested. The files, including ones containing information that could cause serious damage to national security, were found in his home and car.

Investigators said the man had stolen 50 terabytes of files, including secret, top-secret and SCI documents related to the NSA, the Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“The indictment alleges that Martin knew that the stolen documents 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,” said the Justice Department.

Martin has been indicted on 20 counts of willful retention of national defense information and he faces up to 10 years in prison for each count.

While the suspect’s attorneys have not made any comments recently, The Washington Post reported that they had previously claimed Martin was taking documents home in an effort to become better in his job and he did not intend to provide any information to foreign governments.

At one point, some reports linked Martin to Shadow Brokers, the group that offered to sell exploits and tools allegedly stolen from the NSA-linked cyber espionage team known as the Equation Group.

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Eduard Kovacs is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.