Earlier this month, the United States District Court in Baltimore charged ex-NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III with removal of classified documents and theft of government property. Officials have revealed that Martin took over 500 million pages of records and secrets over two decades.

The Justice Department will probably charge Martin with other crimes, “including violating the Espionage Act.” The latest DOJ document does not say if Martin shared this information, but made it known he had the ability to do so.

The new evidence has convinced prosecutors to urge the court not to release Martin, who has a hearing about his detention on Friday. The DOJ has concerns “Martin is or could be in contact with a foreign government.” Prosecutors said he “has had online communication in Russian.” If released, they fear he may find a friendly enemy government to take him in:

“Given the nature of his offenses and knowledge of national secrets, he presents tremendous value to any foreign power that may wish to shelter him within or outside of the United States,” prosecutors said.

Martin’s lawyers claim the opposite, that their client “is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community, and to the extent either of these factors is a concern, they can be sufficiently addressed with specific release conditions.”

Martin worked for the Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp., which put “him inside some of the government’s most secretive programs inside the NSA and the Pentagon.” Officials searched his home in August and found a treasure trove of government information:

The Justice Department said that a search of his home and his automobile uncovered “thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computers and other storage devices and media containing, conservatively, fifty terabytes of information.”

Fifty terabytes is equivalent to 50,000 gigabytes. One gigabyte can contain 10,000 pages of documents, the department estimated.

By extrapolation, 50 terabytes can hold 500 million pages.

Authorities also found the items in plain sight because Martin never concealed any of it:

Top-secret information was stored in his car, which wasn’t parked in a garage. Investigators also found an email chain printed out in that car that was marked “top secret” and contained “highly sensitive information.”

They also found handwritten notes that appeared to describe the NSA’s classified computer infrastructure, the Justice Department said in its filing.

“Among the many other classified documents found in the Defendant’s possession was a document marked as ‘Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information’ (‘TS/SCI’) regarding specific operational plans against a known enemy of the United States and its allies,” the court document said.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.