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Former NSA official charged in newspaper leak investigation

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  1. Newsgathering
Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a former high-ranking National Security Agency official with lying and obstruction of justice relating to…

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a former high-ranking National Security Agency official with lying and obstruction of justice relating to an investigation into leaks made to an unidentified newspaper, The Associated Press reported.

According to the charges in the Maryland District Court indictment, Thomas Drake sent both classified and unclassified information to an unnamed reporter at a national newspaper that published the relevant articles between 2006 and 2007. The indictment’s "description fits articles written by Siobhan Gorman, then a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, that examined in detail the failings of several major N.S.A. modernization programs and problems with supplying its huge electric power demands," The New York Times today reported.

Drake also allegedly lied about his communications with the reporter in subsequent investigations and sent the information through Hushmail, a program that allows e-mail to be sent via Canadian Internet servers.

Also according to the indictment, Drake copied and pasted information from the agency’s documents into unmarked Word documents, which he then printed without classification markings. He faces a total of ten counts, including retaining documents related to national defense, obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.