WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named "Vault 7", the whistleblowing site began releasing the largest publication of confidential documents, that have come from the top secret security network at the Cyber Intelligence Center. Long before the Edward Snowden revelations, Julian Assange noted how "The Internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen." He decried the militarization of the Internet with the penetration by the intelligence agencies like NSA and GCHQ, which created "a military occupation of civilian space". Now, WikiLeaks’ latest disclosures shed further light on this cyber-warfare, exposing the role of the CIA.
At a recent press conference from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange explained how the CIA developed its own cyber-weapons arsenal and lost it after storing it all in one place. What is alarming is that the CIA became aware of this loss and didn’t warn the public about it. As a result, this pervasive technology that was designed to hide all traces, can now be used by cyber-mafias, foreign agents, hackers and by anyone for malicious purposes.
Part one of this WikiLeaks publication dubbed "Year Zero", revealed the CIA’s global hacking force from 2013 to 2016. The thousands of documents released contain visceral revelations of the CIA’s own version of an NSA. With an ability to hack any Android or iPhone, as well as Samsung TVs and even cars, they spy on citizens, bypassing encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Telegram. The Vault 7 leaks that exposed the CIA’s excessive power is of great importance from a point of view of security for individual privacy. But it has larger significance tied to the mission of WikiLeaks.
Opening Government into the Deep State
Describing itself on its site as "a multi-national media organization and associated library", WikiLeaks aims to open governments in order to bring justice. In the speech at the SWSX conference in Texas, delivered via Skype in 2014, Assange described the particular environment that spawned the culture of disclosure this organization helped to create. He noted how "we were living in some fictitious representation of what we thought was the world" and that the "true history of the world" is "all obscured by some kind of fog". This founder and editor in chief of innovative journalism explained how disclosures made though their publications break this fog. The magnitude of this Vault 7 cache, which some say may be bigger than the Snowden revelations, perhaps lies in its effect of clearing the fog to let people around the world see the ground upon which the narratives of true history are written.
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