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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday December 05 2017, @08:48AM   Printer-friendly
from the tinker-tailor-soldier-spy dept.

A former National Security Agency employee who worked at Tailored Access Operations has pleaded guilty to willful retention of national defense information, the same charge Harold T. Martin III faces:

A former National Security Agency employee admitted on Friday that he had illegally taken from the agency classified documents believed to have subsequently been stolen from his home computer by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

Nghia H. Pho, 67, of Ellicott City, Md., pleaded guilty to one count of willful retention of national defense information, an offense that carries a possible 10-year sentence. Prosecutors agreed not to seek more than eight years, however, and Mr. Pho's attorney, Robert C. Bonsib, will be free to ask for a more lenient sentence. He remains free while awaiting sentencing on April 6.

Mr. Pho had been charged in secret, though some news reports had given a limited description of the case. Officials unsealed the charges on Friday, resolving the long-running mystery of the defendant's identity.

Mr. Pho, who worked as a software developer for the N.S.A., was born in Vietnam but is a naturalized United States citizen. Prosecutors withheld from the public many details of his government work and of the criminal case against him, which is linked to a continuing investigation of Russian hacking.

Related: "The Shadow Brokers" Claim to Have Hacked NSA
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Former NSA Contractor May Have Stolen 75% of TAO's Elite Hacking Tools
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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Bot on Tuesday December 05 2017, @02:38PM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) on Tuesday December 05 2017, @02:38PM (#605635) Journal

    - so, mr. Pho, you were not born here?
    - nyet... er... no, I am vietnamese by birth.
    (the NSA head hunter turns his notebook to a page named "Countries we have been at war with" and begins to scan the list)
    - "Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, ISIS, North Korea, Iraq, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, Panama... OK, looks clean. Welcome aboard, mr Pho."

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by PinkyGigglebrain on Tuesday December 05 2017, @06:33PM (1 child)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Tuesday December 05 2017, @06:33PM (#605742)

    Some of us are old enough to remember that the USA was at war* with Vietnam back in the 1960's.

    *the US Congress never actually made a formal declaration of war as required under the US Constitution so the conflict was technically a "military action", just like every "war" the US has engaged in since.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."