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The former CIA officer was suspected of “the most massive leak in the history of the special services”, including software for hacking the iPhone

He is already in the federal prison because of the case of child porn.

Joshua Adam Schulte. Photo from his archive
Joshua Adam Schulte. Photo from his archive

The US authorities suspected 29-year-old former CIA officer Joshua Adam Schulte of stealing secret intelligence data about the hacker software and transferring their organization WikiLeaks. This was reported by NBC News referring to court documents.

Schulte worked in the CIA as a software engineer. The FBI suspected him of involvement in a massive leak from the intelligence department, whose WikiLeaks archive was unveiled in 2017. Among the eight thousand stolen documents on hacking operations were exploits, created to take the iPhone under control and turn smart TV into surveillance devices. A series of documents is called Vault 7.

The New York Times called that leak “the biggest loss of secret data in the history of the CIA and the huge difficulty for the agency’s leadership”

The lawyer of the former CIA officer, Jacob Kaplan, told the court that the FBI had received numerous search warrants from Schulte for investigation. Agents were interested in his personal belongings and gadgets, including a computer, a tablet and a phone. Already a week after the publication of the data, the FBI searched Schulte’s apartment in New York, forbade him to fly to Mexico and withdrew his passport. In the application for the warrant, it was said about suspicions in the “dissemination of information on national defense”.

Wikileaks commented on the accusations against Schulte, citing “improbable” grounds for his being in prison.

“The US authorities say they suspected the former young CIA officer from New York that he was the source of Vault7, because he complained to the Congress about the ill-treatment in the agency – but there is no evidence. So they instead put him in prison on improbable charges because of child porn ”
In August 2017, the prosecutor accused Schulte not of violating state secrets, but of storing and distributing child pornography. FBI agents found 10,000 illegal images on the server, which Joshua created while studying at the University of Texas in 2009. According to the court decision, Schulte knew about child pornography on the server, but according to the accused, he, on the contrary, advised users “not to upload something too illegal”.

In September of the same year, Schulte was banned from using a computer and released under a written undertaking not to leave the city of New York, where he lived with his cousin. In December, the authorities found out about the violation of these rules and imprisoned him in a federal prison in Manhattan.

The NY Times stressed that it is not known why Schulte has not been formally accused of a Vault 7 leak or has not cleared him of suspicion – investigators have data about who was accessing the stolen files and the personal data of the most ex-CIA employee. Prosecutors are expected to file an indictment against Joshua within 45 days.

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