US identifies suspect in major CIA leak

Posted May 16, 2018

First, the federal government suspects he gave a massive trove of agency documents to WikiLeaks about the CIA's hacking operations, though he has yet to be charged with that, reports Huffington Post. The anti-secrecy group published the code under the label "Vault 7" in March 2017.

The embarrassing leaks - the largest data theft in the agency's history - included software that was created to take over iPhones and turn smart TVs into surveillance devices, the paper reported Tuesday.

Schulte is reportedly being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

In a statement to the Post, Schulte proclaimed his innocence.

He is suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website.

At a January 8 hearing, Schulte's attorneys argued that they did not contest his detention, based on their understanding that Schulte would be sent to Virginia, pursuant to a warrant.

An assistant U.S. attorney, Matthew Larouche, claimed during a court hearing in January that "the government immediately had enough evidence" to investigate Schulte as a suspect in the Vault 7 leaks.

Part of that investigation, Laroche said, was analyzing whether a technology known as Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their location, "was used in transmitting classified information".

Following the filing of the August charges, Schulte was told not to leave New York City and to stay off computers.

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"None of that happened", said Jacob Kaplan, one of Schulte's attorneys, according to a court transcript.

Schulte has actually been in jail since being indicted for possession of child pornography last September.

He has plead not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors say he had a cache of it on a server he maintained.

In court documents, Schulte's attorney argued that numerous other people had access to the server and passwords for accessing it.

It's unclear why Schulte has yet to be charged in relation to his alleged involvement in the leaked Vault 7 material.

Schulte worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until 2016.

Weaver added that the fact the leak could happen was more significant as it came well after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden released masses of documents about the agency's surveillance of American citizens in 2013.

Schulte said he had also been planning a vacation with his brother to Cancun, Mexico, which may have given the appearance that he was trying to flee the country.

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)'. Following the search of his apartment in March 2017, prosecutors waited six months to bring the child pornography charges.