Feds: 'Second Snowden' Hoarded Secrets for Years

NSA contractor's motive still unclear
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 4:36 AM CDT
Updated Oct 6, 2016 6:38 AM CDT
Feds: 'Second Snowden' Hoarded Secrets for Years
Debbie, the wife of Harold Thomas Martin III, talks to reporters outside of her home in Glen Burnie, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Authorities are still trying to figure out how much harm the NSA contractor dubbed the "second Snowden" may have done—but they know he had plenty of time to do it. Investigators believe Harold Thomas Martin III, a 51-year-old technology contractor, hoarded top-secret information for up to a decade, the Washington Post reports. Officials say the classified material Martin allegedly took home "could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States." A round-up of coverage:

  • Sources tell the Daily Beast that Martin, a Navy veteran, worked with the Tailored Access Operations unit, elite hackers who worked to get past the defenses of foreign governments. The classified information he is accused of taking is believed to include some of the code the unit used to hack systems in countries including Russia and North Korea.

  • Martin's motive is still unclear, and investigators aren't sure whether he intended to share the classified information with anybody. The FBI's Behavioral Analyst Unit is working on an assessment, according to the Post, and some of the Daily Beast's sources suspect he may have taken the information for research as part of a PhD in computer science he was working on.
  • Neighbors tell the New York Times that Martin looked pale and terrified when around two dozen FBI agents raided his home Aug. 27. "I thought the third world war had started—they came rushing in here," a neighbor says. "I looked out the door, and the officer told me to get back in the damn house. They didn't want anyone peeping around. They knocked down his fence and were running around the back."
  • Martin worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, which also employed Edward Snowden, CNN reports. The company—which says it fired Martin as soon as it learned of the arrest—saw its stock price dive 4% in trading Wednesday.
  • The arrest is a major embarrassment for the NSA, which brought in reforms after the Snowden leak, but an administration source tells the New York Times that Martin was taking top-secret material long before Snowden's case. "This is something that has its origins certainly before Snowden came on the scene, so many of the (reforms) that have been in place since 2013 wouldn't be relevant to stopping what happened," the official says.
(More National Security Agency stories.)

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