NSA Employee Leaked Classified Cyber Intel, Charged with Espionage

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Former NSA InfoSec Designer Jareh Sebastian Dalke was arrested by the FBI in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday as part of a sting operation.

A former National Security Agency employee was arrested on Wednesday for spying on the U.S. government on behalf of a foreign government.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was arrested in Denver, Colorado after allegedly committing three separate violations of the Espionage Act. Law enforcement allege that the violations were committed between August and September of 2022, after he worked as a information systems security designer at the agency earlier that summer.

Dalke allegedly used an encrypted email account to leak sensitive and classified documents he obtained while working at the NSA to an individual who claimed to have worked for a foreign government. 

The individual who received the documents was later revealed to be an undercover FBI agent. Dalke was arrested in September upon arriving at the location where he and the undercover agent agreed to exchange documentation for $85,000 in compensation. 

“Dalke told that individual that he had taken highly sensitive information relating to foreign targeting of U.S. systems, and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other topics,” the press release from the Department of Justice reads. “To prove he had access to sensitive information, Dalke transmitted excerpts of three classified documents to the undercover FBI agent. Each excerpt contained classification markings.”

The classification of the leaked documents ranged from Secret to Top Secret. When Dalke shared the initial preview of each document to prove his access, he requested payment in cryptocurrency. The FBI agent initially complied with this request and deposited the sum to an address provided by Dalke. 

Under the Espionage Act, it is a felony to share National Defense Information with representatives of foreign governments or nations, with the purpose of harming U.S. operations or benefitting another government. 

Should Dalke be found guilty, his sentence could include the dealth penalty or any term of years up to life imprisonment.