The former NSA employee has been charged with violating the Espionage Act after trying to sell it



CNN

A former employee of the National Security Agency was arrested on Wednesday on espionage-related charges, accused of trying to sell US secrets, the Justice Department said.

Jareh Dalke, 30, attempted to transmit classified national defense information (NDI) to a representative of a foreign government, the department said in a news release. He is charged with three counts of violating the Espionage Act and made his first court appearance on Thursday.

CNN has reached out to Dalke’s attorneys for comment.

The Colorado man, who worked at the NSA for less than a month as an information systems security designer, used an encrypted email to send portions of three classified documents to someone he believed to be a representative of a foreign government, according to an affidavit. The person was an undercover FBI agent.

The excerpts Dalke obtained while working for the NSA relate to assessments of a foreign government’s military offensive capabilities and threats to “sensitive US defense capabilities,” as well as a US agency’s “plans to update a certain cryptographic program,” the affidavit said. .

Dalke quit the NSA in early July, citing a family situation, and began contacting the undercover agent a week later.

He released the episodes as “a small sample of what’s possible,” and soon after he passed on a secret document linked to another U.S. agency that contained information about a foreign leader as a “show of good faith,” the affidavit said.

A few days later, Dalke applied for an open job at the NSA, which he believed law enforcement “wanted to obtain additional national defense information,” according to the affidavit.

The undercover agent transferred about $16,000 in cryptocurrency to Dalke following the initial information transfers and Dalke demanded $85,000 for all the information he had at the time.

The government said Dalke decided to transfer additional classified information to an undercover FBI agent at a location in Denver. When Dalke showed up on Wednesday, the FBI took him into custody.

Convictions under the Espionage Act are punishable by life in prison or the death penalty, the Justice Department said in a statement.