US woman gets five years in prison for leaking NSA document

A former US government contractor who pleaded guilty to mailing a classified report to a news organisation has been sentenced to more than five years in prison as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Reality Winner, 26, pleaded guilty in June to a single count of transmitting national security information.

The former Air Force translator worked as a contractor at a National Security Agency (NSA) office in Augusta, Georgia, when she printed a classified report and left the building with it. Winner told the FBI she mailed the document to an online news outlet.

In court on Thursday, Winner apologised and acknowledged that what she did was wrong, taking responsibility for “an undeniable mistake that I made”.

“I would like to apologise profusely for my actions,” she told the judge. “My actions were a cruel betrayal of my nation’s trust in me.”

Authorities never identified the news organisation.

The Justice Department announced Winner’s June 2017 arrest the same day The Intercept reported on a secret NSA document.

It detailed Russian government efforts to penetrate a Florida-based supplier of voting software and the accounts of election officials ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner had leaked.

US intelligence agencies later confirmed Russian meddling.


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