Ex-CIA Engineer Convicted Of Largest Theft Of Agency’s Secrets

A former CIA engineer was convicted of leaking a massive trove of the agency’s secrets to WikiLeaks. Joshua Schulte, who used to work for the CIA as a programmer, provided documents detailing how the CIA hacked smartphones and the agency’s efforts to use internet-connected smart TV as listening devices.

Prosecutors said that Schulte decided to leak the files because he was disgruntled with the CIA after his complaints of a poor work environment were ignored. They called the Vault 7 leak “one of the most brazen and damaging acts of espionage in American history.”

“When Schulte began to harbor resentment toward the CIA, he covertly collected those tools and provided them to WikiLeaks, making some of our most critical intelligence tools known to the public — and therefore, our adversaries,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement.

Schulte’s conviction comes after a mistrial was declared in 2020 when jurors found themselves deadlocked on several counts, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information.

A sentencing date was not set because Schulte is also facing a trial on charges of possessing and transporting child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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