According to the Justice Department, 51-year-old Harold Thomas Martin, who was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton — the company responsible for most of the NSA's most sensitive cyberoperations — faces up to 10 years in prison for theft of government property and one year for removing classified material. The materials he is believed to have stolen are "critical to national security", Justice Department officials added.
"Among the classified documents…were six classified documents obtained from sensitive intelligence and produced by a government agency in 2014," the release stated. "These documents were produced through sensitive government sources, methods and capabilities, which are critical to a wide variety of national security issues. The disclosure of the documents would reveal those sensitive sources, methods, and capabilities."
This incident marks the second time in 3 years that an insider has stolen top secret information from the National Security Agency.
"If convicted, Martin faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, and ten years in prison for theft of government property," the release stated.
He made an initial appearance in US District Court in Baltimore on August 26, 2016.
A statement released by Martin's attorneys stressed that "there is no evidence that Hal Martin intended to betray his country."
"What we do know is that Hal Martin loves his family and his country. He served his nation honorably in the US Navy as a lieutenant and he has devoted his entire career to protecting his country," the statements reads. "We look forward to defending Hal Martin in court."
Edward Snowden also took to Twitter to comment on the story, asking if this will expose flaws in US products.
This is huge. Did the FBI secretly arrest the person behind the reports NSA sat on huge flaws in US products? https://t.co/otgOwB5efm— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 5, 2016
A former NSA contractor, whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the United States' domestic spying operation in 2013. He currently resides in Moscow after being granted asylum in Russia on the basis that he could face spying charges in the US. Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International have all called on President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden.