The National Security Agency released a statement Tuesday denying a conservative television host’s claims that he is an intelligence target of the agency. Tucker Carlson, a political commentator and host of Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight”, said Monday the NSA is “spying” on him with intent to leak certain information to get his show canceled — an allegation the NSA firmly denied.
The perpetrator of the NSA intelligence leak has plead not guilty in court to the espionage offense. Reality Leigh Winner, 25, who has been accused of leaking NSA intel to The Intercept last month while working as a contractor for the NSA. The judge ordered Winner be held without bond due to disturbing notes found in her notebook such as, “I want to burn the White House down.”
The worldwide ransomware computer worm, WannaCry, which spread earlier this week affecting thousands of Microsoft Windows based computers was apparently stolen from the NSA. The NSA who had been using the exploit “EternalBlue” had their worst fears confronted when they came to realize that the WannaCry root code was apparently stolen from the NSA, repackaged, and globally distributed by cyber criminals. The NSA’s failure to protect such potent hacking tools has come into light with critics asking whether they can be trusted with such a dangerous tool. North Korea is still the prime suspect in the WannaCry attacks.
Government intelligence contractor Reality Leigh Winner has been charged in the NSA leak of Russia’s 2016 election meddling to the press earlier this year. Winner was arrested last week and the case was revealed on Monday. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said investigators’ fast work “allowed us quickly to identify and arrest the defendant. Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government. People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”