NSA security designer goes to jail for sharing top secret files

A former NSA employee was sentenced to 22 years in jail for attempted espionage linked to Russia.

Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 32, of Colorado Springs, worked as an information Systems Security Designer at the National Security Agency (NSA) between June 6th and July 1st, 2022.

The defendant admitted that between August and September of the same year, he tried to send the top secret documents to a Russian agent, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, asking for $85,000 for the information provided. Dalke claimed that the information would be of value to the Russian Federation.

Dalke used an encrypted email account to transmit excerpts of three classified documents containing National Defense Information (NDI) and classified as Top Secret//Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI). All three documents were obtained by Dalke during his employment with the NSA.

Later, the defendant sent an additional four containing Top Secret NDI. In an attached letter, Dalke wrote in the Russian language: “My friends! I am very happy to finally provide this information to you… I look forward to our friendship and shared benefit. Please let me know if there are desired documents to find and I will try when I return to my main office.”

“Dalke believed he was passing classified information to an agent of the Russian government. The hard work of our FBI employees prevented that from happening and any potential harm to the United States,” commented on the case FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The FBI arrested Dalke on September 28th, 2023, moments after he transmitted the files. According to court documents, Dalke pleaded guilty in 2023 to six counts of attempting to transmit classified NDI to a foreign agent.

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