US government prosecutors say they would prosecute a former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who is accused of stealing a “breathtaking” amount of classified information, the largest data theft the United States has ever seen.
Federal prosecutors said on Thursday that Harold Thomas Martin spent over two decades stealing classified information from multiple government agencies.
The alleged criminal conduct “is breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” prosecutors said, adding that the amount of stolen data is estimated to be at least fifty terabytes, enough to fill dozens of hard drives.
US Justice Department attorneys said they will bring charges against Martin that included violations of the Espionage Act, a move carrying far more severe penalties than previously announced charges.
A conviction under the Espionage Act can include prison time of up to 10 years on each count.
“The defendant knows, and, if no longer detained may have…