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Former National Security Agency Employee Arrested As KGB Spy

February 23, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A former Army employee of the super secret National Security Agency was arrested by the FBI today in Pennsylvania on charges of spying for the former Soviet Union in the 1960s in return for cash.

Robert Stephan Lipka, 50, who worked for the NSA in 1964-67, was arrested at his home in Millersville, Pa., Justice spokesman John Russell said. FBI spokesman Bill Carter said Lipka was charged with transferring classified documents to the Soviet Union.

As an NSA employee, Lipka had access to intelligence communications and code-word level clearance, according to one Justice official, who declined to be identified by name. Using receiving stations around the world and satellites, the NSA eavesdrops on foreign communications, breaks codes of foreign countries and creates the codes that secure U.S. communications.

Lipka allegedly passed the documents to the Soviets during the 1960s when he was an Army enlisted man serving at the NSA, a Pentagon agency headquartered at Fort Meade, Md, a federal law enforcement official said. Another official said Lipka was paid in cash increments of $1,000 for the documents, but the total payments could not immediately be learned.

FBI spokeswoman Linda Vizi in Pennsylvania said Lipka spied for the Soviet KGB while he lived in Maryland.

Vizi said Lipka was arrested at his Millersville home without incident. Several hours after the arrest, FBI agents were still in the Lipka home conducting a search.

Lipka entered Millersville University in the fall of 1967 and graduated in the summer of 1972. He was born in Madison, Wis., according to university records.

G. Terry Madonna, a professor at Millersville University, remembered Lipka ``as kind of a campus activist″ who wrote occasional op-ed pieces for the student newspaper.

``I had him for a class. ... I remember debating him,″ Madonna said. ``He came from a libertarian point of view, kind of hostile to government.″

There have been several major spy cases in the NSA’s history, most recently the case of Ronald Pelton. He was convicted in 1986 of giving the Soviets information on a secret method of eavesdropping on Soviet submarines through undersea monitors. A senior Justice official, requesting anonymity, said the Lipka case was not as big as Pelton’s and other major cases in the 1960s at NSA.

In 1960, two NSA employees, Vernon Mitchell and William Martin, defected to the Soviet Union, where they were given asylum. They denied they were communists but said they left for moral and political reasons, preferring the Soviet economy and administration to that of the United States. Martin later married a Soviet woman. Mitchell became a lecturer at Leningrad University and reportedly inquired once in 1978 at the U.S. consulate about the possibility of returning to this country.

In 1962, a former NSA employee, Victor Norris Hamilton, defected to the Soviet Union. He had been dismissed by NSA three years earlier after being diagnosed with signs of mental illness.

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