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Georgia federal contractor allegedly leaked classified document

One person's traitor is often another person's patriot. That's the discussion that is once again at the forefront of discussion after a 25-year-old woman was arrested this month here in Georgia for leaking classified information regarding Russia's alleged hacking of the 2016 presidential election to an online news publication.

According to leaked intelligence document from May of this year, Russian military intelligence was involved in various cyberattacks that included sending emails with malicious software to over 100 election officials just days before the Nov. 2016 presidential election. The document also claims that Russians intelligence professionals "executed cyber espionage operation against a named U.S. Company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions." When one of the documents was opened, the hackers could gain control of the user's computer.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says that the woman was working as a federal contractor with Pluribus International Corporation when she allegedly leaked the top-secret document prepared by the National Security Agency (NSA) to The Intercept, which published it on its site. The site called the information "the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light."

According to court documents, she "printed and improperly removed classified intelligence reporting, which contained classified national defense information from an intelligence community agency and unlawfully retained it."

Rod Rosenstein, who currently serves as Deputy Attorney General, said, "Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation's security and undermines public faith in government."

People accused of leaking government information, as we've seen in cases like those involving Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, may believe that they are acting in the greater good. However, they can also face serious federal criminal charges. It's essential for those facing such charges to have an experienced attorney at their side who can protect their rights and present their case.

Source: USA Today, "Federal contractor arrested after NSA document published on news site," Kevin Johnson and William Cummings, June 05, 2017

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