Federal Bureau of Investigation has probed ex-CIA employee over leak of hacking tools

Former CIA engineer, 29, facing a child pornography charge is also suspected of leaking devastating secret agency documents to Wikileaks

The suspect was named as Joshua Adam Schulte. The former prosecutor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation, also said that if government lawyers acknowledged in a public hearing that Schulte was a target, they probably suspect he acted alone.

In August, Schulte was charged with possessing child pornography after agents found 10,000 illicit images on a server he maintained while in college in 2009. He's pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The leak may have dealt a serious blow to the intelligence agency's operations by exposing the CIA's playbook when it came to hacking computers, phones and smart TVs.

Assistant U.S. attorney Matthew Laroche said despite the lack of an indictment, Shulte "remains a target" of an ongoing investigation. Schulte is in custody on other charges. Schulte created the server years ago.

Federal authorities searched Schulte's apartment in NY past year and obtained personal computer equipment, notebooks and handwritten notes, according to a copy of the search warrant reviewed by The Washington Post.

The CIA declined to comment.

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He said suspicion of him is based in his report of "incompetent management and bureaucracy [at the CIA]" and the fact that he appeared to be the "only one to have recently departed [EDG] on poor terms".

Schulte said he had also been planning a vacation with his brother to Cancun, Mexico, which may have given the appearance that he was trying to flee the country.

"Due to these unfortunate coincidences the Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately made the snap judgment that I was guilty of the leaks and targeted me", he said.

According to Schulte's LinkedIn page, he was an intern at the NSA while studying. The profile shows that Schulte has been working at Bloomberg LP as a senior software engineer since November 2016.

"I$3 t is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency", WikiLeaks declared. Public court documents show that investigators obtained a warrant to search Schulte's residence in NY back on March 13, 2017, about a week after WikiLeaks had publicly released the first batch of stolen Central Intelligence Agency tools. But some privacy advocates saw an upside, saying the leaks showed investigators were relying on hacking individual suspects to find evidence of crimes, rather than using dragnet surveillance techniques that scoop up information on everyone's online activities.

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