U.S. Jew charged in wake of botched Israel spying attempt
Internet technology company employee is accused by FBI of spying for a country he thought was Israel.
An Akamai Technologies employee was charged with trying to give confidential company information to an undercover FBI agent he thought worked for a foreign government, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday. Court papers indicated the country was Israel.
Prosecutors said the foreign government cooperated with the investigation and the complaint against Doxer did not accuse that government of seeking or obtaining the sensitive information.
Elliot Doxer, 42, worked in Akamai's finance department in Massachusetts and was charged with one count of wire fraud for providing customers with lists, contract details and employee information. He sought $3,000 in return, prosecutors said.
In June 2006, Doxer emailed a foreign country's consulate in Boston with his offer to help. Papers filed with the court pointed at Israel, because at one point he identified himself as a Jewish American who wanted "to help our homeland and our war against our enemies."
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny that it was Israel.
Akamai's servers and software provide a platform for distributing information on the Internet all over the globe in order to deliver it faster. A significant portion of all Internet traffic passes through Akamai's network.
One of Akamai's founders, Daniel Lewin, was Israeli. He was killed aboard American Airlines Flight 11 during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
A year after Doxer's email to the foreign consulate, an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the foreign country contacted Doxer to see if he still wanted to help. When he agreed, the agent provided instructions on how to communicate with him and told Doxer where to deliver the information.
Doxer was accused of visiting the drop site at least 62 times over 18 months. At one point, he provided contractual papers between Akamai and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the criminal complaint.
In one letter left at the drop by Doxer, he noted he could be fired and that he was breaking the law.
"All I want is some compensation," he said, according to the complaint.
Another time, Doxer said he would reduce his price in exchange for pictures or information about his son, who lived with his mother and stepfather in another country.
Doxer could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer yet.
The case will be tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.