Ex-CIA employee identified as suspect in 'Vault 7' leaks

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According to the transcript, the evidence immediately made Schulte a target in the leak investigation.

The suspect, 29-year-old Joshua Adam Schulte, is a former Central Intelligence Agency software engineer who was charged with possessing child pornography last August.

Schulte's lawyer, Sabrina Shroff of the federal public defender's office, accused the feds of dragging their feet.

At a January hearing on child pornography charges filed against Schulte, an assistant USA attorney in the Southern District of NY said the government conducted several search warrants on Schulte's home.

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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.

"Those search warrants haven't yielded anything that is consistent with [Schulte's] involvement in that disclosure", Matthew Laroche, an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of NY, said in a January hearing regarding the Vault 7 case.

With more than 8,000 CIA documents published to date, according to a defense attorney at the January hearing, the Vault 7 series came as a major embarrassment to U.S. intelligence officials. The U.S government has identified a suspect in the leak.

Schulte's father, Roger, said he was scared to death.

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Interesting that they can't get charges for the leak against him, even though he has been in a Manhattan jail since September for the child pornography charges. Prosecutors said in court last week they plan to file a new indictment in the next 45 days, according to the Times. But he has argued that anywhere from 50 to 100 people had access to that server, which Schulte, now 29, designed several years ago to share movies and other digital files.

Schulte said he reported security vulnerabilities and "incompetent management and bureaucracy" at the CIA to his superior, the inspector general and a House intelligence committee staff member before leaving the CIA in 2016. Following the search of his apartment in March 2017, prosecutors waited six months to bring the child pornography charges.

It's unclear why Schulte has not been charged or cleared in the breach.

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)'. Laroche was actually describing a "characterization" by Schulte's attorneys and expressing disagreement.

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