Former CIA Engineer Sentenced to 40 Years for Leaking Docs to WikiLeaks

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Former CIA Engineer Sentenced to 40 Years for Leaking Docs to WikiLeaks

A former CIA software engineer was sentenced this week to 40 years in prison for leaking a trove of classified files to Wikileaks.

Prosecutors described the “theft” of classified information in CIA history.

Joshua Schulte, 35, was convicted of sending classified documents to Wikileaks and also for possession of child sexual abuse images and videos.

The majority of the sentence t came from an embarrassing public release of a trove of CIA secrets by WikiLeaks in 2017.

Fox News reported:

The so-called Vault 7 leak revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones in overseas spying operations and efforts to turn internet-connected televisions into listening devices. Prior to his arrest, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools as a coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, prosecutors said.

Schulte transmitted the stolen CIA files to WikiLeaks, using anonymizing tools recommended by WikiLeaks to potential leakers, such as the Tails operating system and the Tor browser.

On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began publishing classified data from the “Stolen CIA Files.” Between March and November 2017, there were a total of 26 disclosures of classified data from the Stolen CIA Files that WikiLeaks denominated as Vault 7 and Vault 8.

The WikiLeaks disclosures were one of the largest unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the history of the U.S. and profoundly damaged the CIA’s ability to collect foreign intelligence against America’s adversaries, the Department of Justice said. The leaks also placed CIA personnel, programs, and assets directly at risk and cost the CIA hundreds of millions of dollars, the department said.

“Joshua Schulte betrayed his country by committing some of the most brazen, heinous crimes of espionage in American history,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said:

“He caused untold damage to our national security in his quest for revenge against the CIA for its response to Schulte’s security breaches while employed there,” he added.

“When the FBI caught him, Schulte doubled down and tried to cause even more harm to this nation by waging what he described as an ‘information war’ of publishing top secret information from behind bars.”

Last year, when Schulte was convicted in the case over the child sexual abuse images, which were reportedly found on his computer, he had downloaded from the internet from 2009 to March 2017.

FBI agents said they found layers of encryption hiding tens of thousands of child abuse videos, including the rape and sexual abuse of children as young as two years old,

“Schulte collected thousands upon thousands of videos and images of children being subjected to sickening abuse for his gratification,” Williams said.

“The outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the career prosecutors in this office unmasked Schulte for the traitor and predator that he is and made sure that he will spend 40 years behind bars – right where he belongs.”

Prosecutors alleged Schulte orchestrated the leak because he believed the CIA had disrespected by ignoring his complaints about the work environment.

Prosecutors said he continued his crimes by trying to leak additional classified materials while behind bars.

A mistrial was declared at Schulte’s original 2020 trial after jurors became deadlocked on the most serious counts.

In 2018, Schulte complained he was a victim of cruel and unusual punishment in jail and was put inside a vermin-infested cell of a jail unit where inmates are treated like “caged animals.”

READ: Senators Torch Zuckerberg for Allowing Child Sex Abuse Content on Facebook

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