The FBI secretly arrested a former National Security Agency contractor and is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed by the agency to hack into the networks of foreign governments, the New York Times reports. The arrest of Harold Martin of Glen Burnie, Md., raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton managed to steal highly damaging secret information while working for the NSA. In 2013, Edward Snowden, also a Booz Allen contractor, took a vast trove of documents from the agency, exposing surveillance programs in the U.S. and abroad.
Martin, 51, who at the time of his arrest was working as a contractor for the Defense Department after leaving NSA, was charged with theft of government property and the unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents. A neighbor said two dozen agents wearing military-style uniforms and armed with long guns stormed Martin’s house on Aug. 27 and later escorted him out in handcuffs. Agents discovered thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computers or other electronic devices at his home and in his car, a large amount of it classified. Authorities cannot say with certainty whether Martin leaked the information, passed them on to a third party, or simply downloaded them.