TL;DR on the latest round of Wikileaks:
Literally nothing you do is safe from the CIA. There are numerous full-on spyware suites developed by them, mostly for iOS and Windows, but also targeting Android, Linux, OS X, and Solaris. Apps thought to be secure (Telegram with encryption enabled, WhatsApp, Signal) were compromised as well, as were a host of other devices (ie smart TVs).
THIS DOES NOT PERTAIN ONLY TO AMERICANS.
If you live in a Shengen area country, your country likely hosts several CIA backed cyberwar experts. They came in via the US consulate in Frankfurt. If you don’t, you likely do as well, but I can’t find anything without sifting through the files myself.
“I have nothing to hide, why does this matter?”: Because there are now multiple thousand “zero hour”- ie “developers get zero hours to fix”- vulnerabilities floating around that no one had any idea existed. The vulnerabilities themselves weren’t leaked, but it’s the fact that someone knew about these and didn’t say.
I hate to make this kinda clickbait-y thing, but this is honest to God one of the most important leaks in history. Our response to this is pretty much going to be life or death for privacy in the developed world. Be loud about this, be annoying about this, and do not shut up about this. Please reblog this and other posts relating to it.
Not just any someone, this is one of the U.S. federal government’s foremost intelligence agencies, the CIA, which even mainstream media has reported operates on a black (off the record) budget, infamous for handing over “full” reports that are almost entirely redacted.
It’s a wonder that anyone out there could believe they are not the subject of surveillance—everyone has something to hide.
- The USA can access personal email, chat, and web browsing history. (Source)
- The USA tracks the numbers of both parties on phone calls, their locations, as well as time and duration of the call. (Source)
- The USA can monitor text messages. (Source)
- The USA can monitor the data in smartphone applications. (Source)
- The USA can crack cellphone encryption codes. (Source)
- The USA can identify individuals’ friends, companions, and social networks. (Source)
- The USA monitors financial transactions. (Source)
- The USA monitors credit card purchases. (Source)
- The USA intercepts troves of personal webcam video from innocent people. (Source)
- The USA is working to crack all types of sophisticated computer encryption. (Source)
- The USA monitors communications between online gamers. (Source)
- The USA can set up fake Internet cafes to spy on unsuspecting users. (Source)
- The USA can remotely access computers by setting up a fake wireless connection. (Source)
- The USA can use radio waves to hack computers that aren’t connected to the internet. (Source)
- The USA can set up fake social networking profiles on LinkedIn for spying purposes. (Source)
- The USA undermines secure networks [Tor] by diverting users to non-secure channels. (Source)
- The USA can intercept phone calls by setting up fake mobile telephony base stations. (Source)
- The USA can install a fake SIM card in a cell phone to secretly control it. (Source)
- The USA can physically intercept packages, open them, and alter electronic devices. (Source)
- The USA makes a USB thumb drive that provides a wireless backdoor into the host computer. (Source)
- The USA can set up stations on rooftops to monitor local cell phone communications. (Source)
- The USA spies on text messages in China and can hack Chinese cell phones. (Source)
- The USA spies on foreign leaders’ cell phones. (Source)
- The USA intercepts meeting notes from foreign dignitaries. (Source)
- The USA has hacked into the United Nations’ video conferencing system. (Source)
- The USA can spy on ambassadors within embassies. (Source)
- The USA can track hotel reservations to monitor lodging arrangements. (Source)
- The USA can track communications within media organizations. (Source)
- The USA can tap transoceanic fiber-optic cables. (Source)
- The USA can intercept communications between aircraft and airports. (Source)
And this leak shows that the CIA has all of these technologies and proliferates them to other entities who want this information all the time. You need your privacy to protect yourself and your information. If you have nothing to hide, you have plenty to hide:
The line “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry
about” is used all too often in defending surveillance overreach. It’s
been debunked countless times in the past, but with the line being
trotted out frequently in response to the NSA revelations, it’s time for
yet another debunking, and there are two good ones that were recently
published. First up, we’ve got Moxie Marlinspike at Wired, who points
out that, you’re wrong if you think you’ve got nothing to hide,
because our criminal laws are so crazy, that anyone sifting through
your data would likely be able to pin quite a few crimes on you if they
just wanted to.
Julian Sanchez points out:
Some of the potentially sensitive facts those records expose becomes
obvious after giving it some thought: Who has called a substance abuse
counselor, a suicide hotline, a divorce lawyer or an abortion provider?
What websites do you read daily? What porn turns you on? What religious
and political groups are you a member of?
Some are less obvious. Because your cellphone’s “routing information”
typically includes information about the nearest cell tower, those
records are also a kind of virtual map showing where you spend your time
— and, when aggregated with others, who you like to spend it with.
We simply cannot possibly know when something is going to incriminate us and the State is not above scapegoating individuals or coercing them into submission. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and former defense attorney, notes:
Estimates of the current size of the body of federal
criminal law vary. It has been reported that the Congressional Research
Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes.
These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code,
encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code
sections often incorporate, by reference, the provisions and sanctions
of administrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies
under congressional authorization. Estimates of how many such
regulations exist are even less well settled, but the ABA thinks there
are ”nearly 10,000.”
Supreme Court Justice Breyer elaborates:
The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified
in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually
infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an
investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it
difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of
statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some
Not just the State, but anyone could draw suspicion against you if they had the right information with the right circumstances. We are entitled to our privacy, and these institutions must be held to account.
Reblogging because the links in the bulleted list were broken, as someone brought to my attention.