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The Second Snowden - Harold T Martin III

Updated on October 5, 2016
RJ Schwartz profile image

I'm on the right side of politics and enjoy a good debate on government, the economy, common sense, and the rights of the people.

The F.B.I. quietly arrested a National Security Agency contractor named Harold T. Martin III last month. He is under investigation for the theft of a highly classified black-Ops computer program. The unnamed program was developed in secret; it's function is to hack into the networks of foreign governments. Martin is 51 years old and lives in Glen Burnie, Md. He was a Navy veteran and holds a Top Secret security clearance and since August 27th has been in custody. Martin was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology company. Booz Allen Hamilton is a leading provider of management and technology consulting services to the US government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets.

Two Peas in a Pod?

Booz Allen Hamilton unfortunately was the same firm that employed Edward Snowden. Snowden is currently in exile in Russia for copying and then leaking classified information from the National Security Agency. Snowden, a former CIA employee, was working for Booz Allen Hamilton in 2013 as a contractor specializing in computer systems. While at the NSA, he, without authorization took intelligence data revealIng numerous global surveillance programs. Some were operated by the NSA in conjunction with national telecommunications companies and foreign assistance. He has been hailed as a hero for exposing the fact that our own government, without due process, was spying on its citizens. Other call him a traitor for exposing highly sensitive programs, especially ones that were proven to be successfuly used to ease drop on our friends as well as our enemies. Now it seems he has a either a follower or copycap, or maybe he's just following his own plan.

The Details

The FBI first learned about the breach in mid-August. The Shadow Brokers, unnamed people who procure and sell rare things offered to sell the NSA hacking tools and other secrets for $500 million dollars. The Shadow Brokers had some of the authentic materials to validate their offer. The FBI is investigating whether there is a link between Martin and The Shadow Brokers and the NSA hacking tools that were put up for sale. So far no link has been found. A subsequent search of Martin's home and car turned up a treasure trove of documents and digital files. Most of them contained highly classified information, six of which were labeled Top Secret of Sensitive Compartmented Information. This is information gathered from intelligence sources considered to be above Top Secret. The earliest documents date back to 2014, a mere six months after the NSA was rocked by Snowden's leaks. The one important fact that's missing is how the FBI had come to suspect him; it's never mentioned in the criminal complaint. Perhaps the spies are spying on the spies in this case. With such overwhelming evidence against him, Martin has confessed to the crimes.

Aftermath

An intelligence official involved in the investigation has stated that there was no evidence that Mr. Martin passed the stolen classified information to anyone else. There also appears to be no motive for the theft. Snowden believed in a cause but Martin seems non-political. So in this case, little damage was done comparably speaking. But what should be troubling all Americans is how the NSA was able to be hit with data theft twice in such a short time. After Snowden they made claims on how they were stepping security up, so this really will hurt their reputation. Booz Allen's stock price immediately started to fall once the news got out. How do Americans regain trust in our government when errors of this magnitude continue to happen?

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