Man suspected in massive Central Intelligence Agency leak jailed, but not charged

16 May, 2018, 16:12 | Author: Donnie King
  • Former CIA engineer, 29, facing a child pornography charge is also suspected of leaking devastating secret agency documents to Wikileaks

The suspect was identified by The New York Times as Joshua A. Schulte, 29, a former CIA software engineer who designed malware that the spy agency used to hack into the computers of terror suspects.

The leak may have dealt a serious blow to the intelligence agency's operations by exposing the CIA's playbook when it came to hacking computers, phones and smart TVs.

Schulte worked for five months at the NSA and then for over six years at the Central Intelligence Agency before leaving in November 2016 to work at Bloomberg as a software engineer, according to his LinkedIn profile. "Are they charging him with espionage?"

In documents, prosecutors allege that they found a large cache of child pornography on a server that was maintained by Schulte.

Court documents suggest that Schulte was aware of the images and had warned one user not to "put anything too illegal on there". What's on the public record now is that Schulte uses Tor, anonymity software used by millions of people, and that he planned to leave the country past year - a trip he says was for a family vacation to Cancun. In December 2017, he was jailed after he violated these conditions.

Schulte's connection to the leak investigation has not been previously reported.




In August past year, authorities filed child pornography charges against Schulte, who is in a jail in Manhattan, after claiming to have found 10,000 illicit images on a server that he had set up in 2009 while studying at the University of Texas in Austin.

He also said that because of 'unfortunate circumstances the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgement that (he) was guilty of the leaks and targeted (him)'. "He remains a target of that investigation".

The FBI stopped Schulte from traveling to Mexico and took his passport.

The cryptic description led assistant federal defender Sabrina Shroff, who entered the case in March, to demand more.

USA federal agencies launched a criminal investigation at the time and, according to United States media, the software engineer's home in New York City was searched within a week.

"The government should be required to indict so Mr. Schulte has the opportunity to defend himself". Otherwise he is just languishing'. It is not clear whether the government is pursuing contractors as part of the leak investigation, but prosecutors have not mentioned anyone other than Schulte in court proceedings. However, the Times reports that prosecutors plan to file a new indictment within 45 days. Since then, he has posted a series of essays under a pseudonym on Facebook criticising the USA justice system.

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