Air Force Employee Indicted For Leaking Classified Info On Dating Site

air force employee indicted for leaking classified info on dating site
Following yesterday's report on an Air National Guard member sharing classified documents around the Internet, it seems the U.S. Government cannot catch a break. A 63-year-old civilian member of the U.S. Air Force assigned to U.S. Strategic Command was arrested on March 2nd “allegedly conspiring to transmit and transmitting classified information relating to the national defense (National Defense Information or NDI) on a foreign online dating platform” back in 2022. Despite the serious nature of these charges, there is a little humor in how this all went down.

On March 2nd, David Franklin Slater, of Nebraska, was arrested for “willfully, improperly, and unlawfully [transmitting] NDI classified as “SECRET,” which he had reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, on a foreign online dating platform to a person not authorized to receive such information.” Slater retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army and pivoted to a civilian role where he had a Top Secret security clearance from August 2021 to April 2022. The events wherein sensitive data was transmitted took place toward the end of this window from February through April.

stratcom air force employee indicted for leaking classified info on dating site

According to the documents regarding the charges, Slater attended Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS//SCI) U.S. STRATCOM briefings regarding the Ukrainian war. This data was transferred to a person claiming to be a Ukrainian woman over email and online messaging platforms upon request. The documents list the following examples of the “woman’s” request for information:
  • On or about March 7, "American Intelligence says that already 100% of Russian troops are located on the territory of Ukraine. Do you think this information can be trusted?"
  • On or about March 11, "Dear, what is shown on the screens in the special room?? It is very interesting."
  • On or about March 15, "By the way, you were the first to tell me that NATO members are traveling by train and only now (already evening) this was announced on our news. You are my secret informant love! How were your meetings? Successfully?"
  • On or about March 18, "Beloved Dave, do NATO and Biden have a secret plan to help us?"
  • On or about March 23, "Dave, it's great that you get information about [Specified Country 1] first. I hope you will tell me right away? You are my secret agent. With love."
  • On or about April 12, "Sweet Dave, the supply of weapons is completely classified, which is great!"
  • On or about April 14, "My sweet Dave, thanks for the valu,able information, it's great that two officials from the USA are going to Kyiv."
  • On or about April 19, "Dave, I hope tomorrow NATO will prepare a very unpleasant "surprise" for Putin! Will you tell me?"
  • On or about April 21, "You have a job in the Operations Center today, I remember, I'm sure there is a lot of interesting news there?"
Safe to say that these are fairly obvious requests for sensitive information, and it is surprising that Slater took the bait, especially with security training. In any event, for each count of conspiracy or transmission of national defense information, Slater faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. However, the investigation is still ongoing so this could expand in the near future.