Akamai employee charged with trying to sell secrets to a foreign government
An employee of Cambridge Internet company Akamai Technologies Inc. was arrested today and charged with wire fraud after allegedly trying to sell confidential information about the firm to a foreign government, according to the US Attorney's office.
Elliot Doxer,42, of Brookline was charged in federal court with a single count of wire fraud and was held without bail pending a hearing on the matter. He had not hired an attorney. If convicted, Doxer could face a $250,000 fine and 20 years in prison.
Akamai, which cooperated with federal authorities on the case, said Doxer's alleged activities never compromised the security of its customers. Akamai is the world's leading Internet content delivery company, operating a global network used by large businesses and government agencies to efficiently distribute online data.
According to a complaint filed in US District Court in Boston, Doxer worked in Akamai's finance department. The complaint claims that in June 2006, Doxer sent an e-mail message to the Boston consulate of a foreign country listed in the complaint only as "Country X."
"I am a Jewish American who lives in Boston," he allegedly wrote. "I know you are always looking for information and I am offering the little I may have." Doxer mentioned that Akamai served major clients like the US Department of Defense, European airplane maker Airbus, "and some Arab companies from Dubai." He wrote that he only knew about invoices and customer contact information, but would be willing to provide such data if it would benefit the foreign country.
The unnamed country told US law enforcement officials about the offer, and provided help with the subsequent investigation. In September 2007, an undercover FBI agent phoned Doxer and set up a "dead drop" location for secretly exchanging documents.
Over the next 18 months, Doxer allegedly visited the dead drop over 60 times, leaving behind sensitive Akamai documents, including contracts with customers, and a list of Akamai's clients and employees. A hidden video camera captured Doxer's visits. While Doxer said he was mainly motivated by "my desire to help our homeland and our war against our enemies," he also asked to be paid $3,000 for the information.