Would-be Akamai Spy Busted by Feds

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An Akamai Technologies staffer was arrested Wednesday and charged with wire fraud after he provided confidential business information to an undercover federal agent that he believed to be working for an unnamed foreign government.

Elliot Doxer was charged in federal court here Wednesday in a case that began in June 2006, when the 42-year-old employee in the finance department of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Internet content delivery company sent an e-mail to the consulate of a country referred to only as "country X" in the criminal complaint. In that e-mail, he expressed his desire to help that country with whatever information he could obtain in his position, which he acknowledged was limited to "invoicing and customer contact information."

The charge of wire fraud is based on the allegations that Doxer made his offer via e-mail, and engaged in a scheme to defraud his employer of confidential and proprietary information for which he later allegedly solicited payment.

The foreign consulate that Doxer contacted turned his e-mail over to law enforcement authorities, and a little over a year later, he was contacted by an FBI agent posing as a representative of "country X." Over the next 18 months, Doxer left confidential business information such as customer lists and contracts at a designated spot called a dead drop, acts captured via video surveillance.

The FBI agent's affidavit that accompanies the criminal complaint paints a picture of a man motivated less by greed -- he asked his "handler" at various times for a few thousand dollars in compensation for his trouble -- than by a desire to help the foreign country. He also seemed preoccupied with ill will toward his ex-wife, writing at one point that "not enough bad things can happen to her if you know what I mean." And he offered to drop his request for monetary compensation in return for information or pictures of his son.

Akamai has been cooperating with the FBI over a period of time on the investigation and will continue to cooperate, said Jeff Young, the company's senior director of corporate communications. Young stressed that there is no evidence that Doxer disclosed any of the information that's referenced in the complaint to anyone outside of law enforcement. He called Doxer a junior Akamai employee.

Doxer could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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