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posted by martyb on Tuesday March 10 2020, @06:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-double-jeopardy,-right? dept.

Minor convictions for ex-CIA coder in hacking tools case

A former CIA software engineer accused of stealing a massive trove of the agency's hacking tools and handing it over to WikiLeaks was convicted of only minor charges Monday, after a jury deadlocked on the more serious espionage counts against him.

Joshua Schulte, who worked as a coder at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, was convicted by a jury of contempt of court and making false statements after a four-week trial in Manhattan federal court that offered an unusual window into the CIA's digital sleuthing and the team that designs computer code to spy on foreign adversaries.

After deliberating since last week, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the more significant charges. They had notified U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty on Friday that they had reached consensus on two counts, but were unable to reach a verdict on eight others.

Previously: Suspect Identified in C.I.A. Leak was Charged, but Not for the Breach

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  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Tuesday March 10 2020, @10:12PM (2 children)

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Tuesday March 10 2020, @10:12PM (#969318) Journal

    …. can the government refile the espionage charges? And if so, will they? Or is there still such a thing as double jeopardy and does it attach if there was a conviction?

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday March 10 2020, @10:14PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday March 10 2020, @10:14PM (#969322) Journal

    No verdict was reached on those charges. They can refile/retry:

    The mistrial on eight counts injected new uncertainty into a complex case that had been several years in the making. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan did not immediately say whether prosecutors would retry Schulte on the most serious charges. The CIA also declined to comment.

    Schulte faces separate child pornography charges, but his defense team is trying to to have those counts thrown out due to what it calls “misstatements” the FBI made in applying for a warrant to search Schulte’s New York City apartment.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2020, @12:09AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2020, @12:09AM (#969354)

    What is the legal distinction between making something public and giving it to foreign powers? In my mind they are in no way the same. But I can't think of a specific precedent or legal doctrine that makes them distinct. The first amendment doesn't cover restricted speech, but outing a crime perpetrated by the state has never been restricted speech. Well, at least not since 1861. CIA == CSA? Who knew?

    So in any case where the defendant could reasonably argue that the CIA violated posse commatatus, then they could argue that they weren't working against the U.S., they were in fact working for it. The claim of espionage cuts both ways if the CIA was using the software in operations on domestic soil. Which... Lets face it, there is virtually no possibility they aren't.

    The most applicable precedent I can think of would be the area 51 toxic waste case, which the fed lost.