In response to recently released documents by WikiLeaks, CIA has issued an official statement negating the perspective that it is conducting mass surveillance on its own citizens.
As stated by Reuters press agency, an anonymous U.S official assumes that the most likely source of the leaks is a CIA contractor.
“Contractors likely breached security and handed over documents describing the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of hacking tools to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials told Reuters on Wednesday.” states the Reuters.
“Two officials speaking on condition of anonymity said intelligence agencies have been aware since the end of last year of the breach, which led to WikiLeaks releasing thousands of pages of information on its website on Tuesday.”
This would be a very discomforting fact if authenticated as it is obscure that CIA has informed the IT vendors about the incident whom products could be a target to CIA’s hacking tools.
For WikiLeaks documents Vault 7, FBI and CIA will launch an investigation even if CIA fails to confirm the authenticity of the documents.
CIA tabled the point of view that it’s mission is to protect US citizens from foreign government and not-state actors such as terrorists. Also, it aims to “aggressively collect” foreign information from the overseas entity.
The statement released by CIA says, “It is CIA’s job to be innovative, cutting-edge, and the first line of defense in protecting this country from enemies abroad.”
“The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries. Such disclosures not only jeopardize U.S. personnel and operations but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm,” the statement further reads.
The technologies CIA encompass seems to be purposed for targeted attack instead of dragnet surveillance. The CIA mention that for intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, it’s not allowed to spy on US citizens. The agency said its activities “are subject to rigorous oversight to ensure that they comply fully with U.S. law and the Constitution.”
The US government is distressed about the consequences of Vault 7 leak on the activities conducted by intelligence agencies. The competence of tools and techniques are at high risk after the disclosure.
Also, reactions from other Governments on WikiLeaks revelations were seen.
Because of many Chinese products under the exploit of CIA hacking, China expresses concerns over the revelation.
“China expressed concern on Thursday over revelations in a trove of data released by Wikileaks purporting to show that the CIA can hack all manner of devices, including those made by Chinese companies,” Reuters reported.
“Dozens of firms rushed to contain the damage from possible security weak points following the anti-secrecy organization’s revelations, although some said they needed more details of what the U.S. intelligence agency was up to.
Widely-used routers from Silicon Valley-based Cisco (CSCO.O) were listed as targets, as were those supplied by Chinese vendors Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE (000063.SZ) and Taiwan supplier Zyxel for their devices used in China and Pakistan.”
The Foreign ministry of Germany issued a statement saying that it is in touch with the US Government to gain more information with regard to the incident.
On the matter that CIA run a hacking process from U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, the chief federal prosecutor’s office confirmed that it would overlook WikiLeak data dump.
“We will initiate an investigation if we see evidence of concrete criminal acts or specific perpetrators,” Reuters informed by a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office.
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About the Author
Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communication. Topics related to cybersecurity, IoT, AI, Big Data and other privacy matters are extensively covered by her on various platforms. You can follow her on twitter.More from Zehra Ali
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