The FBI Has Arrested an NSA Contractor for Allegedly Stealing Classified Material

He even worked at Edward Snowden’s old company.

Juliet Linderman/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The FBI has arrested Harold Thomas Martin III, a contractor at the National Security Agency, for stealing “highly classified information,” according to a Department of Justice statement released on Wednesday.

News of an arrest was first reported by the New York Times, which wrote on Wednesday that an unnamed contractor “stole and disclosed highly classified computer codes developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments.” Martin was an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm that also employed Edward Snowden while he was pilfering classified information from the NSA in 2013.

It’s not clear if the arrest and the alleged theft of code are linked to an incident in August when a hacking group called Shadow Brokers released a batch of what it said were NSA hacking tools designed to breach computer networks and firewalls. Cybersecurity experts said the tools were likely genuine but outdated. The group has tried to sell the tools for as much as $611 million but complained over the weekend that no buyers were interested.

The DOJ’s statement said Martin’s arrest took place at his home in Glen Burnie, Maryland, at the end of August, and that searches of Martin’s house and property turned up “six classified documents obtained from sensitive intelligence and produced by a government agency in 2014,” as well as other classified documents and more that $1,000 in government property. Martin faces up to one year in prison for taking the classified documents and up to 10 years for theft of government property.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate