[ISN] 8:20 am: Jury awards fired Sandia analyst $4.3 million

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Thu Feb 15 2007 - 00:08:48 PST


February 14, 2007

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A state district court jury has awarded $4.3 million 
in punitive damages to a fired Sandia National Laboratories 
cybersecurity analyst who went to federal authorities with information 
about national security breaches.

The jury determined Tuesday that the handling of Shawn Carpenter's 
firing was "malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent or in bad 

In addition to the punitive damages, the jury awarded him $35,661 for 
lost wages and benefits, $1,875 for counseling costs and $350,000 for 
emotional distress, the Albuquerque Journal reported in a copyright 
story Wednesday.

Carpenter cried as the verdict was read by Judge Linda Vanzi. He was 
later hugged by jurors when he went into the jury room with his 
attorneys to talk about the case.

In a statement, Sandia said, "We are disappointed with the verdict but 
still maintain that when employees step beyond clear boundaries in a 
national security setting there should be consequences."

An appeal is under consideration, lab officials said.

Jurors found that Carpenter had been fired in violation of public policy 
that favors the reporting of stolen security information to appropriate 
federal officials.

His job involved finding breaches in Sandia's computer networks. He 
followed the trail of hackers around the world in 2004 and discovered 
stolen documents about troop movements, body armor and more. He 
testified that his bosses told him to concern himself only with Sandia.

Eventually, he shared his findings with the FBI.

Carpenter told supervisors he was working with an outside agency, but it 
wasn't until the FBI talked to Sandia counterintelligence did the lab 
fully learn of his work. Three months later, he was fired.

Carpenter is now working with top secret clearance for a State 
Department contractor.

Subscribe to the InfoSec News RSS Feed

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Thu Feb 15 2007 - 00:13:52 PST