Former NSA employee pleads guilty to taking classified documents

By REUTERS
December 1, 2017 23:25
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A former National Security Agency employee who worked in its elite hacking unit pleaded guilty on Friday to illegally taking classified information outside the spy agency, the US Justice Department said.

Nghia Hoang Pho, 67, retained US government documents containing top-secret national defense information between 2010 and March 2015, according to a plea agreement.

Pho faces up to 10 years in prison and is not being held by authorities as he awaits his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 6, 2018, in US District Court in Baltimore.

Pho is just the latest NSA employee or contractor to be charged in recent years on counts of improperly taking classified information from the agency, breaches that have prompted criticism of the secretive NSA.

Asked for comment, Pho's attorney, Robert Bonsib, said, "Any conversations regarding this case will be made in the courtroom during the sentencing." He declined to comment further.

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