NSA contractor Reality Winner jailed for five years over Classified Data Leak
Yesterday, a Former NSA contractor,Reality Winner has been sentenced to 63 months of Prison for leaking a confidential report on Russian Hacking of 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to the news outlet last year.
Winner, who hold a top-secret security clearance and worked as a government contractor in Georgia with Pluribus International, was initially indicted with a fine of $250,000 and10 years in prison which is the longest sentence imposed for a federal crime that involves leaking to the media.
Winner was arrested on June 3, 2017 shortly after The Intercept published an article describing Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by hacking a U.S. voting software supplier and sending spear-phishing E-mails to more than 100 local election officials just days before the November election.
Then The Intercept had contacted the NSA and sent some copies of the documents in order to confirm their accuracy.
The NSA informed FBI the whole case and the FBI realized the documents had been printed out because the PDF copies sent by The Intercept “appeared to be folded, suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space”.
Further internal investigations did by NSA, confirms that Winner had accessed the classified documents on her system, and was in contact with The Intercept.
Both journalists and security experts have suggested that The Intercept’s handling of the reporting, which included publishing the documents unredacted and including the microdots, was used to identify Winner as the leaker.
Bobby Christane, U.S. Attorney of Southern District of Georgia in a statement said that ,”Winner’s violation put the nation’s security at risk.”
He also said that, “Winner’s sentence will halt other people who are authorized with our nation’s sensitive national security data and would think about bargaining it.”
Reality Winner apologized in the court for her unpleasant doing and admit that what she did was wrong. And she recognizes that inorder to make the world a better place then lawful actions are needed.
Earlier this morning U.S. President shows sympathy to Reality Winner by a tweet.
Ex-NSA contractor to spend 63 months in jail over “classified” information. Gee, this is “small potatoes” compared to what Hillary Clinton did! So unfair Jeff, Double Standard.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018