Experts Comment on the Trial of Ex-CIA Employee Joshua Schulte
A new scandal connected with the disclosure of confidential data nicknamed "Vault 7" is gaining momentum across the sea. USA Really has previously reported, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has charged former CIA employee, 29-year-old Joshua Adam Schulte, with theft of state secrets.
The commission has accused Schulte of a broad range of crimes, from illegal collection of information all the way through to theft of state property, for which he risks going to jail for a period of up to 135 years. If a guilty verdict is handed down on the charge of espionage, the death penalty can be applied to him. Schulte considers himself the victim of a frame-up whose only purpose was to get rid of him for his constant complaints to higher ups about the "illiterate management and bureaucracy" of the agency.
Human rights activists note that many charges brought up against Schulte could have been either entirely fabricated or else the supposed evidence gathered by illegal means: for instance, "distribution of child pornography" was a charge that was brought against Schulte half a year after the confiscation of his personal computer.
Malgorzata Kulbaczewska, civil rights activist and correspondent for Strajk.eu, says, “When charges of illegal transfer of classified information and of possession of child pornography are brought up at the same time, it is necessary to suspect that we are dealing with a crude attempt at discrediting the defendant, focusing on his supposedly disgusting personality... It is necessary to suspect that classical methods long employed by intelligence agencies are being used to shut down debate, extremely inconvenient for the ruling elite, on cyber espionage against their own citizens. Documents posted on the WikiLeaks website with which Schulte's name is now connected, have caused huge damage to the reputation of the US as a state which strictly observes the principles of personal liberty and nonaggression, but is constantly forced to protect itself from outside intervention (in the “Vault 7” series there were tools for convincingly faking cyber attacks and blaming them on "hostile" parties). Constantly accusing certain targeted countries of "insufficient development of democratic processes", the US has proven that fair and open public discussion about the quality of it's own democracy isn't going to be held.”
Schulte's case has once again brought to the surface the question of electronic privacy and personal user data from potential hacking and tracking by various state agencies.
Yury Namestnikov, the Head of the Russian-based Global Research & Analysis Team for "Kaspersky Lab", thinks that the leading countries of the world already have the necessary technical means for implementating complete control over the online and electronic activities of their citizens. According to him, Kaspersky knows about a number of malicious applications aimed at this specific goal: for example, Pegasus, Slingshot and VPNFilter. However, despite the fact that the proliferation of security software on all electronic devices makes hacking a much more difficult task than it used to be, there are still ways to get around such protections.
"It is useful to have reliable and unique passwords for different services, regularly change them, use two-factor authentication, and have good antivirus set up on all of your devices," - says Namestnikov. – "Plus on all IoT-devices it is necessary to change passwords which stand by default there. There are also others options for people who strongly worry about digital safety: for example, interception and analysis on the existence of anomalies of traffic of inner networks."
Needless to say USA Really will be following this case closely.