CIA computer engineer sentenced to 40 years for leaking hacking secrets to WikiLeaks.

The release of classified information known as the Vault 7 leak exposed the CIA’s involvement in hacking Apple and Android smartphones for overseas surveillance operations, as well as attempts to transform internet-connected televisions into eavesdropping devices. Joshua Schulte, a former coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, played a role in developing these hacking tools before his arrest.

During the trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney David William Denton Jr. argued for a life sentence, stating that Schulte was responsible for the “most damaging disclosures of classified information in American history.” When given the opportunity to speak, Schulte primarily complained about the harsh conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, referring to his cell as a “torture cage.” However, he also claimed that prosecutors had previously offered him a plea deal for a 10-year prison sentence, criticizing their current pursuit of a life term and objecting to the deal due to the requirement to waive his right to appeal. Schulte proclaimed, “This is not justice the government seeks, but vengeance.”

In response to Schulte’s statements, the judge expressed astonishment at his “complete lack of remorse and acceptance of responsibility.” The judge emphasized that Schulte’s actions were driven by anger, spite, and a perceived grievance against individuals at the agency who he believed had ignored his concerns about the work environment. Furthermore, it was revealed that Schulte continued committing crimes from behind bars, attempting to leak additional classified materials and maintaining a hidden file on his computer containing 2,400 images of child sexual abuse, which he continued to view while in jail.

During the proceedings, Judge Furman highlighted a letter from CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen, emphasizing the severe harm Schulte’s crimes caused to U.S. national security and the CIA. Cohen stated that Schulte’s actions had cost the agency significant financial losses, compromised its ability to gather foreign intelligence against American adversaries, endangered CIA personnel and programs, and jeopardized national security.

Schulte’s original trial in 2020 resulted in a mistrial due to a deadlock among jurors regarding the most serious charges, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information. However, he was later convicted in a July 2022 trial related to the classified leak. Additionally, Schulte was convicted in a separate case involving child sexual abuse images, which were discovered on a computer he possessed after leaving the CIA and moving to New York. The judge described this trial as a one-sided affair with no defense presented by Schulte.

Despite all these developments, Schulte showed no remorse for his crimes. Judge Furman imposed a 40-year sentence, with the majority of it being for the CIA theft and six years and eight months for the child sexual abuse convictions. Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that Schulte had committed espionage crimes of the utmost audacity, betraying his country. Williams further noted that Schulte had attempted to cause further harm to the nation by waging an “information war” from behind bars after his capture by the FBI.

The summary is as follows: Former CIA employee Joshua Schulte has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for leaking classified information, including the agency’s hacking tools and efforts to spy on smartphones and internet-connected televisions. Schulte’s actions were deemed to be the most damaging disclosures of classified information in American history. He complained about harsh conditions in jail and claimed prosecutors had offered him a plea deal that was unfair. The judge criticized Schulte for his lack of remorse and acceptance of responsibility. Schulte continued his crimes from behind bars by trying to leak more classified materials and possessing child sexual abuse images. The judge described his trial as a “bloodbath” where he had no defense. The sentence includes time for the CIA theft and the child sexual abuse convictions. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated that Schulte committed brazen and heinous crimes of espionage and attempted to cause further harm by publishing top-secret information from jail.

Disclaimer: Only the headline and content of this report may have been reworked by Newsearay, staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed. The Article was originally published on Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related Articles