A former National Security Agency employee who worked at Tailored Access Operations [wikipedia.org] has pleaded guilty to willful retention of national defense information [nytimes.com], the same charge Harold T. Martin III faces [soylentnews.org]:
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 [justice.gov] 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 [soylentnews.org]
The Shadow Brokers Identify Hundreds of Targets Allegedly Hacked by the NSA [soylentnews.org]
Former NSA Contractor May Have Stolen 75% of TAO's Elite Hacking Tools [soylentnews.org]
NSA Had NFI About Opsec: 2016 Audit Found Laughably Bad Security [soylentnews.org]
Reality Winner NSA Leak Details Revealed by Court Transcript [soylentnews.org]