Former NSA Employee Charged With Trying To Send Secrets To Foreign Country - Justice Dept.

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th September, 2022) A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee has been charged with three violations of the Espionage Act for allegedly attempting to send sensitive defense-related information to a foreign government, the US Justice Department said on Thursday.

"Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was an employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) where he served as an Information Systems Security Designer," the Justice Department said in a statement. "Dalke used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents he had obtained during his employment to an individual Dalke believed to be working for a foreign government."

Dalke allegedly began communicating with an FBI Online Covert Employee (OCE) in late July through encrypted email. Dalke left the NSA due to the agency's inability to give him the time off needed to address family illness, according to an affidavit in support of the charges.

The OCE reached out to an email address believed to belong to Dalke in late July, saying that they had been informed to contact him. An individual believed to be Dalke responded on August 1, beginning a series of correspondences that culminated in the transmission of three classified documents to the OCE, the affidavit said.

The documents were provided to demonstrate "legitimate access and willingness to share," the affidavit cited the OCE as saying.

The NSA then conducted an internal audit to determine who had accessed the specific documents, concluding that Dalke was the only person to have printed all three, the affidavit said.

The individual believed to be Dalke claimed to have reached out to multiple channels to gain a response about exfiltrating information, including submissions to a so-called "deep web" site maintained by Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, the affidavit said.

The OCE then requested the email account owner send their preferred cryptocurrency address to receive payment. The person also requested proof that the OCE was a member of the foreign government they claimed to represent, asking for a posting through media services to confirm, the affidavit said.

Later in August, financial records indicate that money traced through the cryptocurrency payments had been deposited into an account allegedly held by Dalke, the affidavit also said. The FBI maintained communication with the individual, setting up a sting for September 28, the affidavit also said.

The Justice Department pointed out that Dalke was subsequently arrested by the FBI after showing up at the sting location specified to the email account owner, where he was supposed to transmit more sensitive information.

If found guilty, Dalke faces a sentence of up to life in prison and may even be given the death penalty.