USA names suspect in Vault 7 leaks, but unable to file charges

By  Deb Reichman The Associated Press and Larry Neumeister The Associated Press  17 hours ago

By Deb Reichman The Associated Press and Larry Neumeister The Associated Press  17 hours ago

The Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects that a former Central Intelligence Agency employee separately charged with possessing child pornography had a role in the unauthorized release of a trove of CIA hacking tools to the WikiLeaks website a year ago, according to a court transcript.

Schulte's lawyers have argued that he simply ran a public server and had no idea as to the contents of the encrypted container.

Former CIA software engineer Josh Schulte is a target of an FBI investigation looking into damaging leaks of classified information from the CIA, CBS News has confirmed.

Those materials were dumped on the internet in what WikiLeaks claimed was the largest-ever publication of confidential Central Intelligence Agency documents, much of which pertained to electronic surveillance and cyber weapons. That includes the fact they he is believed to have used software called Tor, which allows users to communicate and transmit information over the Internet anonymously, and the fact he was planning a vacation to Cancun, Mexico.

Federal authorities searched Schulte's apartment in NY past year and obtained personal computer equipment, notebooks and handwritten notes, according to a copy of the search warrant reviewed by The Washington Post.

The report says that, while the government thinks Schulte was the one who handed the cache of documents over to WikiLeaks, they do not now have enough evidence to bring charges.

Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death.

Jacob Kaplan, Schulte's attorney at the January hearing, told the court that "the government had full access to his computers and his phone, and they found the child pornography in this case, but what they didn't find was any connection to the WikiLeaks investigation". The statement said he later reported "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to the agency's inspector general and a congressional oversight committee. 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.

The CIA declined to comment.

"Due to these unfortunate coincidences the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me", Schulte said. Following the search of his apartment in March 2017, prosecutors waited six months to bring the child pornography charges.

Since he's been jailed, Schulte has created a Facebook page where he posts articles criticizing the criminal justice system. And I would disagree with the defense counsel's characterization that those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with his involvement in that disclosure.

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