Back in 2016, the FBI became aware of a serious situation. They were informed about an NSA contractor, 54-year-old Harold T. Martin III, who was likely bringing his work home with him. While this usually isn’t a problem for most businesses, the National Security Agency often deals with highly classified information. Initially, authorities believed the worst. They suspected Martin may be a spy.
The investigation eventually prompted a search of Martin’s home. FBI agents were shocked when they discovered hoards of sensitive information at the contractor’s home. According to reports, Martin had brought home and stored at least 50 terabytes of data and six full bankers’ boxes full of data over a period of twenty years. Concerned, authorities arrested Martin and began interrogating him.
After two years of investigating, the FBI has finally surmised that Martin was not acting on behalf of another nation or hacker group. According to Martin’s lawyer, he never intended to harm the country. Instead, his lawyer believes “his actions were the product of mental illness.” He’s a self-admitted hoarder. Throughout his trial, he was referred to as both a veteran and a patriot.
Despite the suspect’s apparent remorse over the situation, the assistant attorney general reiterated how his actions put the country at risk. The information found at the suspect’s home is now being considered the biggest classified information breach in history. Both the prosecutors and defendant have reached a plea agreement that calls for a nine-year sentence. He’s already served two and a half years, which will likely be counted towards his overall sentence.