Reality Winner, 25, Charged with Leaking Russian Hacking Secrets to News Media

Reality Winner, 25, Charged with Leaking Russian Hacking Secrets to News Media

She has been jailed in Lincoln County, Georgia.

The leaked document was reported on the same day the Justice Department announced it had charged government contractor Reality Leigh Winner, 25, with leaking a classified report containing "Top Secret level" information to an online news organisation.

Because of her training, the indictment contends, victor knew disclosure of the document could endanger national security. "It's a rule that you don't ask", Winner's mother said.

The Justice Department announced the case against victor about an hour after the Intercept published the document, a May 5 intelligence report from the NSA.

Reality Leigh Winner, 25, is accused of passing the top secret National Security Agency report to The Intercept last month while working with Pluribus International Corp, which provides analytical services for U.S. defense and intelligence.

Victor had top security clearance from her time serving in the Air Force for six years.

"My biggest fear in all of this, is that she's not going to get a fair trial", her mother Billie Winner-Davis said Tuesday in a CNN interview.

The document, according to The Intercept, said Russian military intelligence "executed cyber espionage operations against a named United States company in August 2016 evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions, according to information that became available in April 2017".

The Affidavit says a visible crease mark on the document passed to a website called "The Intercept" tipped them off that the file was printed from a secure server. They fell out of touch, but Demasi now lives in Augusta and does yoga with victor, she said. "Only an asset", said Gary Davis, Winner's stepfather.

"She is scared that they won't let her out", said mother Billie-Jean Davis, according to CBS.

What led investigators to victor was an audit that revealed she was one of only six people who had printed the report, and the only one who had had email contact with The Intercept. She does, Demasi said, have a dry sense of humor and has a tendency to use hyperbole.

The government believes those who knew victor best did not know an alternate side of her, who confessed to wanting to do harm to the nation through the release of classified documents. In a call to her mother Sunday night from the Lincoln County jail where she is being held, victor said she was in trouble because of "those documents", plural, Golari said.

Prosecutors also said while victor was serving in the Air Force she put a removable thumb drive into a top-secret computer.

Prosecutors said a phone call to her sister expressed her confidence in how to play the court during her bond hearing. She wrote, "I want to burn the White House down". "I never termed her as a political activist at all, ever".

"Downright frightening?" defense attorney Titus Nichols responded.

"She's going to be made an example of".

Former NSA worker and current Information Security Consultant Brandon Mccrillis is focusing on her missteps. Saying she could be a "pretty white girl" is not evidence she's a threat to anyone.

"The government is scraping and clawing to build a mountain out of a molehill". Victor did not enter a plea in her initial appearance Monday.

Victor was likely caught due to some apparent oversights in The Intercept's source verification process. The thumb drive has not been found, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Epps said he was concerned since that drive's location is unknown.

The charge carries a potential penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.


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