An outside NSA associate is accused by US prosecutors of collecting dozens of hard-data hard drives from the service for over two decades.
The NSA intelligence external partner, Harold T. Martin III, is also accused of stealing thousands of highly classified documents, computers and other storage devices during his collaboration with the service.
At present it is not known exactly what Martin was supposed to have stolen, but a publication by them New York Times on Wednesday said the recently leaked hacking tools used by the organization to conduct surveillance were among the stolen cache of files.
Prosecutors accused Martin on Friday of violating the law on espionage. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years of imprisonment for each category.
The categories, (reported for the first time by The Washington Post), outline a much deeper and more serious case than a felony of simple theft or a misdemeanor of removing and retaining classified information.
According to the Post, citing a note from U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, the NSA external partner is "a high risk to flights, a risk to the nation, and to the physical integrity of others."
The note said that if he was released, he would "have access to important high-quality information, which he could easily pass on to others".
Until today, there has not been any official state announcement that sheds light on the US intelligence violation case.