Ex-CIA computer engineer gets 40 years in prison for giving spy agency hacking secrets to WikiLeaks

Undescribed Horrific Abuse, One Victim & Survivor of Many gmkarl at gmail.com
Mon Feb 5 18:37:17 PST 2024

The link from Jim says it is from AP. I found an AP article, below, but it
includes only the prosecution’s statements and none of Schulte’s.

Wikipedia says Schulte chose to represent himself in this retrial, and it
sounds like his more autistic-sounding approaches did not succeed.

It would seem most fair here to have a raw court log.

The sexual allegations are frightening but not related to Vault 7.


Ex-CIA computer engineer gets 40 years in prison for giving spy agency
hacking secrets to WikiLeaks

Updated 2:12 PM PST, February 1, 2024

NEW YORK (AP) — A former CIA software engineer was sentenced to 40 years in
prison on Thursday after his convictions for what the government described
as the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history and for
possession of child sexual abuse images and videos.

The bulk of the sentence imposed on Joshua Schulte, 35, in Manhattan
federal court came for an embarrassing public release of a trove of CIA
secrets by WikiLeaks in 2017. He has been jailed since 2018.

“We will likely never know the full extent of the damage, but I have no
doubt it was massive,” Judge Jesse M. Furman said as he announced the

The so-called Vault 7 leak
<https://apnews.com/article/e52721b35227dba51cb25e56df1a02bb>[1] 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.

In requesting a life sentence, Assistant U.S. Attorney David William Denton
Jr. said Schulte was responsible for “the most damaging disclosures of
classified information in American history.”

Given a chance to speak, Schulte complained mostly about harsh conditions
at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, calling his cell, “My
torture cage.”

But he also claimed that prosecutors had once offered him a plea deal that
would have called for a 10-year prison sentence and that it was unfair of
them to now seek a life term. He said he objected to the deal because he
would have been required to relinquish his right to appeal.

“This is not justice the government seeks, but vengeance,” Schulte said.

Immediately afterward, the judge criticized some of Schulte’s half-hour of
remarks, saying he was “blown away” by Schulte’s “complete lack or remorse
and acceptance of responsibility.”

The judge said Schulte was “not driven by any sense of altruism,” but
instead was “motivated by anger, spite and perceived grievance” against
others at the agency who he believed had ignored his complaints about the
work environment.

Furman said Schulte continued his crimes from behind bars by trying to leak
more classified materials and by creating a hidden file on his computer
that contained 2,400 images of child sexual abuse that he continued to view
from jail.

During a two-hour proceeding, Furman noted a one-page letter the government
had forwarded from CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen, who described
Schulte’s crimes as causing “exceptionally grave harm to U.S. national
security and the CIA.”

He added: “His actions cost the Agency hundreds of millions of dollars;
degraded its ability to collect foreign intelligence against America’s
adversaries; placed directly at risk CIA personnel, programs, and assets;
and jeopardized U.S. national security by degrading the CIA’s ability to
conduct its mission. In short, Mr. Schulte’s actions inflicted heavy costs
on the United States.”

A mistrial was declared at Schulte’s original 2020 trial after jurors
deadlocked on the most serious counts, including illegal gathering and
transmission of national defense information. He was convicted at a July
2022 trial of charges in connection with the classified leak.

Last fall, he was convicted in the case over the child sexual abuse images,
which originated when a computer that Schulte possessed after he left the
CIA and moved to New York from Virginia was found to contain the images and
videos that he had downloaded from the internet from 2009 to March 2017.

The judge described that trial as “a bloodbath” in which “Mr. Schulte had
no defense.”

Yet, Furman noted, Schulte was unable to express remorse for those crimes

Of the 40 year sentence, Furman said the bulk of it was for the CIA theft
while six years and eight months of it were for the convictions over the
child sexual abuse materials.

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

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

1: https://apnews.com/article/e52721b35227dba51cb25e56df1a02bb
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/html
Size: 20075 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://lists.cpunks.org/pipermail/cypherpunks/attachments/20240205/788200f0/attachment.txt>

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list