I just got through reading WikiLeak’s press release concerning the publishing of a massive Central Intelligence Agency leak, code named: Vault7. This is some scary, no holds barred, Big Brother on steroids, shit. If half of this is true, then the CIA is literally Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984. In fact, it’s even worse than that. The spying is so pervasive with today’s technology that they have access to us virtually anywhere we are, and at all times. Winston, in 1984, didn’t have a cell phone. Today, almost everyone carries around a little device, that one the one hand can connect us to the knowledge and power of the Internet, but on the other hand, can track our movements and allow the watchers to see all that we do and hear all that we say. Technology is truly a double edged sword.
Some revelations from the WikiLeaks press release:
- The CIA operates a “global covert hacking program” which has produced a “malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
- By 2016, CIA hackers “had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook.”
- The CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB) developed a thing that they call, “Weeping Angel,” which infests smart TVs. “After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.”
- “As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.” (WTF!)
- “The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.”
- The CIA has the ability “to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
Listen, I know the arguments. “If you’re not hiding anything then you have nothing to worry about.” “These powers are for keeping track of terrorist and such, not the general public.” Sure, I don’t have anything to hide. Here are the keys to my house. Come, rummage through my stuff if you want. And of course, I don’t like terrorists and I think they should be watched. However, I do not trust the CIA. I do not trust that they have my best interests at heart, and I do not trust that they will not abuse this vast technological power that they have at their disposal. I have a problem with this sort of thing as a matter of principle. Just because I have nothing to hide doesn’t mean I want them watching my every move. We have this thing called “presumption of innocence,” and I do not like being tracked and watched like a common criminal.
I’m going to be following this story. According to WikiLeaks, this is “the largest intelligence publication in history.” There really needs to be first, a public outcry over this violation of privacy, and secondly a global discussion on how to prevent the technology that we all depend on from becoming the instruments of our enslavement.