The latest WikiLeaks revelation titled “Vault 7” was released last week containing once secret information from CIA databases that brings George Orwell’s “big brother” to real life. Information revealed includes how the CIA can turn your smartphone, Apple or Android, as well as smart T.V.s into a microphone that secretly records everything you say and a digital “‘fingerprint’ that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.” WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to giving all people the truth behind government matters. Information provided to the public by WikiLeaks has never been proven to be false or inaccurate.
Four years ago the revelations of Edward Snowden showed us that we do in fact have a “big brother” system right here in the United States of America. Last week that picture got even clearer with Julian Assange’s release of secret CIA documents that show Snowden’s revelations were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to citizens being monitored by government agencies.
In addition to Snowden’s information about the TSA collecting, listening to, and reading all of our phone calls and text messages we now know that the CIA has the ability to turn iPhones, Androids, computers running Windows, and smart T.V.s into microphones that record your conversations even when not being used. George Orwell’s prophecy of “big brother” is indeed coming true but even he could not foresee that we, as a society, would make it so easy for our government to spy on us.
When asked about his concerns over these revelations MHS senior Gage Gelband was clearly upset over the situation, “Not okay at all, I understand they can use the tech for certain situations such as hacking terrorists and stuff like that. However, there is a fine line that they crossed.”
A leaked CIA document titled “Tradecraft DO’s and DON’Ts” contains the steps involved in order to not leave any trace of a CIA hacking and even provide a false “digital fingerprint” that could point forensic investigators in the direction of a completely innocent country or government. All this is done in order to evade leaving any incriminating evidence that would “implicate the ‘CIA, US government, or its witting partner companies’ in ‘forensic review’”.
This information comes after months of the media proclaiming that Russia has been hacking the U.S. It is not clear whether there is a correlation between the Russian hacking scandal and the CIA’s digital fingerprint system or not but this new information is definitely cause for an investigation.
Retired CIA Operations Officer and Chief of Stations Sam Faddis said in an interview on Fox News this past Sunday, “I have seen absolutely nothing of which I am aware that suggests that there was any Russian effort that actually manipulated this election.”