Harold T. Martin III began taking classified government files almost 20 years ago so he could get better at his job, his lawyer said in court Friday.
But at some point, federal public defender James Wyda said, he lost control of his stealing. Over two decades, authorities say, he amassed an astonishing 50 terabytes of information.
"This was the behavior of a compulsive hoarder," Wyda said in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
Martin, a 51-year-old former National Security Agency contractor from Glen Burnie, was charged in August with stealing government property and taking classified information.
Wyda, trying Friday to persuade a federal magistrate judge...