Wikileaks’ “Vault 7”: What We Always Suspected Turns Out to Be True
I don't think that anybody is really surprised about these revelations. Everybody knew that we had very capable technical means for spying on all sorts of people. May be it’s a little bit startling for people to see it out there, to see how good some of these things appeared to be. But I don’t think that anybody surprised that the Americans have it.
Let’s be honest, I’m sure that many other countries – Russia, China, Iran, Israel – also can do some things like this. I think, if anybody had any illusions of privacy, forget about it. There may be attempts by the legal restrictions on the technical means, but the technology is there and it is very hard to counter. Even if Skype, Telegram, WhatsApp and all the rest of them try to make their systems better, I think almost every system that has a countermeasure has some new way of being attacked.
As far as the accusations against Russia, the one thing people are focusing on, even American media, is this whole thing of CIA using Russian code as a false flag for its cyber activities.
Let’s remember that back in December, when these charges of “Russian hacking” came out of the Obama administration, one of the big things they pointed to, since they presented no other evidences, was: “ . . . . And we found “Russian code” as if that was very significant. Of course, this is ridiculous, that is like saying: “If a gang of bank robbers used a Volkswagen as a getaway car, they must have been Germans!” – This is simply an absurd argument. But I think it now stands revealed as being completely absurd.
The other thing is that these revelations give a very strong backing to Donald Trump’s claim that he was hacked or surveilled by the Obama administration because it shows how the CIA and other agencies could have done this without leading any fingerprints or leaving Russian fingerprints. I think his accusations that he was being monitored are much stronger now in light of these revelations.
And finally, I think nobody else has commented on, specialists should look very closely for something that we call evidence of the “Five Eyes” countries. This is the United States, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zeeland, that we have a very strong relationship with. The intelligence services of these countries are essentially satellites of the CIA, the NSA and the other American agencies. If you look at the denials by Barack Obama and James Clapper and other American officials that they monitored the Trump campaign, they are very precise in their language. “We didn’t put wiretaps on” - what do you think this is, the 1940’s? You don’t put taps on wires anymore, you use other means. Or Clapper says: No American “national” agency monitored the Trump campaign. Now, maybe this was done through a non-“national,” non-US agency, what is a common thing among Five Eyes countries to get around domestic prohibitions on spying is to outsource it to one of the sister agencies. So, if the NSA or the CIA was to spy on somebody in the United States, they don’t do it themselves. They ask their British friends in the Government Communications Headquarters in the United Kingdom: “You’re spying on these American persons, just give us their data”. In that way they are not violating any American laws, they are simply turning to another foreign agency that is collecting the data they want and they turn over to them.
Therefore, there could be evidence of this sort of things in the Wikileaks trove of information and it will be very interesting to see if there are any clues to that effect.