A former contractor for the ultra-secret US National Security Agency (NSA) who was jailed for leaking secrets about Russian hacking to a website has been released from prison, her lawyer said.
Defense lawyer Alison Grinter Allen confirmed to Reuters that former NSA contractor Reality Winner, who was sentenced to five years and three months in prison in 2018 for leaking information to The Intercept website, left prison under a normal release process and “transitioned” to a half-way house.
Winner was sentenced after entering a guilty plea to one felony count of unauthorized release of national defense information to the website.
In a tweet, Allen said that Winner’s release was “not a product of the pardon or compassionate release process but rather the time earned from exemplary behavior while incarcerated.”
The Justice Department announced in June 2017 that Winner had been charged with removing classified material from a government facility in Georgia.
The charges were announced less than an hour after The Intercept published a top-secret document from NSA. The document described Russian efforts to launch cyber attacks on at least one US voting software supplier and send “spear-phishing” emails, or targeted emails that try to trick a recipient into giving up data, to more than 100 local election officials, days before the 2016 US election.
The criminal case filed against Winner was one of the first concrete steps taken by the administration of President Donald Trump to crack down on media leaks. – Rappler.com