WASHINGTON ― A government contractor in Georgia was arrested this weekend after a classified National Security Agency report was leaked on an alleged cyberattack attempt by Russian military intelligence officers on a voting software company and local election officials.
Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old federal contractor for Pluribus International Corp. who had a top secret security clearance and was working at a government agency, was arrested by FBI agents Saturday at her home in Augusta, Georgia, according to the Justice Department.
The Intercept published a story Monday on a highly classified May 5 intelligence report the outlet had received anonymously that “analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure.”
The Justice Department announced Winner’s arrest hours after The Intercept story was published. While it did not name The Intercept or the NSA, the details included in an affidavit from an FBI agent leave little doubt the case revolves around the disclosure of the May 5 NSA report that The Intercept published online.
The affidavit states that an “Intelligence Community Agency” was contacted by a “News Outlet” about an upcoming story on May 30. The news outlet gave the agency a copy of the May 5 document, and the agency “determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased, suggesting they had been printed out and hand-carried out of a secure place,” the affidavit states. The copy of the May 5 report published by The Intercept shows creases that make it appear it was folded to fit into a letter-sized envelope.