The Vault 7 expose' by WikiLeaks neglected to mention the most important part of the disclosure. Sure, the CIA has all these tools available. Yes, they are used on the public. The important part is; it's not the CIA that's using them. That's the part that needs to frighten you.
The CIA, by the definition of its mission, cannot use the tools in Vault 7, and definitely not on Americans. All the tools are unclassified, open-source, and can be used by anyone. It makes them not exactly usable for secret agent work. That's what makes it impossible for them to use Vault 7 tools directly. Because of the possible exposure for the agency, use of the tools was farmed out.
Instead, they are there for subcontractors to use. Are you worried about your TV watching you? Has your car developed the habit of starting itself in the morning?
If these tools were solely in the hands of a US agency, you would be much safer. The agencies have limits on what they can do and agencies have oversight providing protections.
Instead, intelligence and counterterrorism tools are in the hands of people that make most of their money pushing political agendas forward. And there is no oversight for what they are doing with the tools.
In March 2015 , I started writing about private NSA guns for hire. These hired guns work in the revolving door between government Intel and counterterrorism and private intel and counterterrorism. What it showed was the same people that worked for US agencies and trained them were using the same tools and methods on Americans that they used for terrorist hunting. And they brag about it in social media.
The same people that take counterterrorism measures against Al Qaeda, are free to use those tools on you. According to CNN, Aaron Weisburd models his methods on the no-holds-barred Al Qaeda model.
From CBS News -"sources close to U.S. intelligence as saying that "hackers knocked out Al Qaeda's online means of communication, thus preventing them from posting anything to commemorate 911 anniversary." The paper also said Western intelligence suspects two hackers were responsible: Aaron Weisburd from Internet Haganah and Rusty Shackleford from the web group My Pet Jawa."
According to Sputnik News "As much as 80 percent of the US National Security Agency's (NSA) budget is privatized, demonstrating the merger between Washington and corporate organizations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday."
This means that up to 80% of that budget is going to people in the private sector that are also working on other agendas, including their own. That's why we see more headlines like "NSA staff used spy tools on spouses, exlovers:watchdog." or "The Crazy Emails That Took Down NSA Spook John Schindler." Both articles show contractors use Vault 7 tools for their own domestic spying or revenge.
In May 2015, the Nation published an article that is a must read to grasp how dangerous this has become. I've written intensively on how these tools are used to create news and policy from a ground and company level for NGO's and lobbyists. This article ratchets it up by looking at the policy makers and former agency heads that go into the private Intel and policy crafting business for hire.
According to The Nation "These are the people--often referred to as "intelligence professionals"--who do the actual analytical and targeting work of the NSA and other agencies in America's secret government. Over the last 15 years, thousands of former high-ranking intelligence officials and operatives have left their government posts and taken up senior positions at military contractors, consultancies, law firms, and private-equity firms. In their new jobs, they replicate what they did in government--often for the same agencies they left. But this time, their mission is strictly for-profit."
What does this have to do with overhauling the ODNI and 17 Intel agencies? Everything. From oversight to policy, the level of non-partisan professionalism needed to conduct unbiased intelligence work is no longer there. The Vault 7 leak could well be an inside attempt to address these issues.
"In the intelligence community in the United States, there are certain disgruntled individuals [concerned] about the way operations are being run, and it's obvious that material has come out that was felt by some of these individuals needed to be discussed," Kampmark explained."
The ODNI and its agencies descent into shambles have been three presidencies in the making. Why a shambles? When intelligence is based on political agendas, rumor, or speculation instead of facts, it's in trouble. All of it was done in the name of getting faster intelligence and making actionable Intel available to members of Congress that had no business getting involved with classified, need to know basis intelligence.
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