THE United States has filed charges against Joshua Schulte, a software engineer who allegedly leaked disclosed thousands of top-secret files pertaining to CIA’s cyberwarfare capabilities to whistleblower outfit WikiLeaks.
Joshua Adam Schulte, a former employee of the US spy agency, was arrested last year after child pornography was found on his electronic devices in a raid on his home and is charged with a series of Espionage Act violations.
That raid was carried out as part of the investigation into the leak, prosecutors said. “Leaks of classified information pose a danger to the security of all Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers in a statement.
The massive leak of thousands of documents, which embarrassed the CIA, came out last year – a year after Schulte had left the agency to work elsewhere. He had apparently been part of a team designing hacking tools for the agency.
In March and June 2016, Schulte modified a computer run by the U.S. Intelligence Agency to “delet[e] records of his activities” and “den[y] others access to the system,” prosecutors charge in a superseding indictment unveiled Monday.
The former CIA engineer was accused formally in the indictment of lying to federal investigators, illegally gathering and transmitting national security information, theft of government property, and other offenses.
“As alleged, Schulte utterly betrayed this nation and downright violated his victims,” assistant New York FBI field director William F. Sweeney, Jr., said in a statement. “As an employee of the CIA, Schulte took an oath to protect this country, but he blatantly endangered it by the transmission of Classified Information.”
Schulte was charged last year with knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography, and those charges are also listed in the latest federal grand jury indictment.
Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, remains at the Ecuadorean Embassy in Britain, where he has been since 2012, even as Swedish judicial officials said last year they were no longer seeking him on sexual assault charges.