By Eli Lake
April 15, 2010
A grand jury Thursday indicted a retired senior National Security Agency
official on charges he mishandled secrets, saying that he divulged
classified information to a reporter through hundreds of encrypted
e-mails and then sought to destroy classified documents to cover his
The official, Thomas Drake, was a senior engineer at the NSA between
2001 and 2006 who was introduced to the reporter in question in 2005 by
a congressional staffer.
The indictment says Mr. Drake made arrangements with the reporter,
identified only as "Reporter A" in the court papers, to communicate
through a Canada-based encrypted e-mail service known as hushmail. The
indictment says between February 2006 and November 2007 the reporter and
Mr. Drake exchanged hundreds of e-mails containing classified material.
The indictment is a rare view into the inner workings of the NSA, the
U.S. signal intercept agency based at Fort Meade, Md., that eavesdrops
on and decrypts communications from foreign governments.
It is also the latest example of the U.S. government's efforts to crack
down on classified leaks.
Register now for HITBSecConf2010 - Dubai, the premier
deep-knowledge network security event in the GCC,
featuring keynote speakers John Viega and Matt Watchinski!