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NSA Contractor Arrested After Leaking Top Secret Document on Russian Hacking

For all those who are curious about the source of some of the leaks to the media, and who want to see something done about it, today is your day.

By Susan Wright

To be more specific, an arrest has been made today, in regards to the leak of a top secret document detailing attempted Russian hacking into U.S. voting systems a week before the 2016 election.

In fact, the news of the hacking attempt, itself, had only been released an hour before the arrest was made.

From NBC News:

The May 5, 2017 intelligence document published by The Intercept, an online news organization, describes new details about Russian efforts to hack voting systems in the U.S a week prior to the 2016 presidential election. While the document doesn’t say the hacking changed any votes, it “raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results.”

To be clear, this suggests that the Russians aren’t simply suspected of attempting to influence Trump team members — which has gotten most of the press for the last few months — but attempted to hack into voting machines or the computer systems of election boards.

Even as the document was ricocheting around Washington, the Justice Department announced that a criminal complaint was filed in the Southern District of Georgia charging Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a federal contractor, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet.

Not only did the government find evidence of contact between Winner and the news outlet, but she admitted that she printed out the document and sent it to the organization.

Given the evidence they had, it was highly unlikely that she would have been able to deny her involvement. She was one of only six who had access to the material.

She was arrested by the FBI at her home Saturday, according to a senior federal official. She faces a single charge of “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.”

Winner is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation, authorities said. She had been employed at the facility since on or about February 13, and held a Top Secret clearance.

It puts some of the other stories of leaks to the media in a brand new light.

Maybe it isn’t administration officials or competing factions, locked in a power play within the White House.

Maybe they should start looking lower.


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