back to article Ex-CIA man fingered as prime suspect in Vault 7 spy tool manuals leak

A former CIA employee has been named as the prime suspect behind last year's leak of thousands of top-secret documents on the agency's hacking practices. According to the Washington Post, court documents name Joshua Adam Schulte as the person authorities believe to be behind the massive Vault 7 online dump of CIA internal …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So if they can't get him on the big charge (classified data theft and release) then hit him with something else (child images)... I'm really hoping for his sake that the CIA has been thorough not just pinning it on him because they need someone to blame. I do have reservations that this is a red herring to let the real perp think he/she is in the clear while the investigation continues. It is the CIA so all bets are off on who actually did it and if the perp is known to them. In the same vein, all bets are off on who put the pictures on his server. With all the misinformation out of DC lately, I'll be surprised if we (the public) will ever know as (again being the CIA) the real perp could hiding out in another country or even 6 feet underground somewhere.

    Icon: CIA and healthy dose of paranoia about the government.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      It certainly looks like a "dirty tricks" sort of case, but would the US gov really be so blatant about it?

      1. fajensen

        Why Not? Nobody challenges these things anymore, it is expected news, page 17 stuff like " dog bite postman" so it just becomes a routine check-box procedure where not much actual creativeness and skill is applied.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A frame job was my first thought too

      But if he is claiming that, wouldn't the article at least mention that? Though maybe he isn't aware he was framed, if the government put the 54GB of child porn there without his knowledge then his "I didn't know it was there" is true.

      If you could prosecute someone for operating a server with encrypted child porn on it, I'm pretty sure Google, Amazon, Microsoft and every other cloud provider is guilty many times over...

  2. TrumpSlurp the Troll

    Encrypted container?

    So who supplied the key to decrypt it?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Encrypted container?

      There are two theories in this boingboing article -

      One was him saying to user in a chat log that got him arrested that his encryption could be broken.

      The other was a claim that he stored his passphrases on his phone.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rather, he is being charged with operating a server that contained a 54GB container of child abuse content (we're not going to label it as 'pornography' out of respect for adult entertainment performers).

    Huh?? That appears to be a little prudish.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is not prudish at all. One has the word "consent" all over it, the other does not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        consent is not involved in the definition

        the definition of 'pornography' is 'printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement'

        so, sexual images and video footage involving children, although unequivocally abusive, are also pornography. by definition

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: consent is not involved in the definition

          The OED definition of prudish is "Having or revealing a tendency to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity; excessively concerned with sexual propriety."

          Being concerned about child abuse is not prudish, unless you approve of child abuse - in which case post so under your actual name.

          Your letter was only the start of it

          One letter and now your part of it

          Now you've done it

          Jim has fixed it for you

          And you and you

          They must be something that you always want to do

          The one one thing that you always want to do

          Now you've done it

          Jim has fixed it for you

          And you and you and you

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: consent is not involved in the definition

          the definition of 'pornography'

          A definition of pornography. Regardless of the provenance of that definition, it does not have authority over the language, much less the users of that language.

  4. deive

    "However, he is facing unrelated charges in the New York Southern District court for possession and distribution of child abuse images." - totally completely and utterly unrelated m'lord

  5. TonyJ Silver badge

    Can just imagine the conversation "So...confess to the leak and you can spend your long time locked away in a comparatively easy jail. Or...we get you on the child abuse images and you go into a high security jail in the general population shared with all of the child-abuser-hating gang members, murderers and the long d'you think a convicted paedophile would last there, eh?"

    Like others have pointed out - these cases are so murky we'll never really know the truth of it, I guess.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone knows

    The CIA has such a reputation as having no morals/respect for anyone, does so many evil things, that the first thought of so many is that they are framing him with one thing since they can't blame him for what he may have done. I'll be surprised if they don't torture his family in front of him. It wouldn't be the first or last time they do that to people.

    Then again, maybe it is true. Since they are the most evil government agency, he is/was one of them. Something like child abuse is a drop in the bucket for CIA.

  7. HellDeskJockey

    It's possible in the US to be held on a different charge while they build the case against you. For example we have clear proof of a firearms charge. We will hold you on that while we investigate the murder charge.

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