The idea that “the government is listening” used to be a running joke. Those who believed such things were crackpots and conspiracy theorists, wearing tinfoil hats in their mother’s basement while munching on Pop-Tarts and casting spells in a tabletop role-playing game.

More recently, many liberty-minded folks warned about the dangers of legislation like the Patriot Act. Regardless of whether their hobbies were Mountain Dew and video games or high-end cyber security, most people who claimed there was a problem with hi-tech government surveillance were ridiculed, discredited, or just ignored.

As Wikileaks showed the world yesterday with their Vault7 leak dump, the joke is on those who ignored those warnings.  It turns out that complete government cyber surveillance isn’t a science fiction movie plot after all.  Now it’s a verifiable fact, and people like former CIA agent Bill Binney are somewhere between screaming “I told you so!” and feeling the weight of this horrifying reality sink down deep onto their shoulders.

Just a few days ago, Binney was on the Sean Hannity show trying to tell America (again) that the intelligence community listens to Americans without a warrant all the time.  His first-hand experience was met with a collective shrug by most people, who vacillate between refusing to believe it and refusing to care.

Americans should care very much about Vault7 – and here’s why.

The document dump is being hailed as the largest intelligence leak in history. It lays bare the Central Intelligence Agency’s massive cyber operations, much of which are currently leveraged against American citizens. According to the classified documents released by Wikileaks, you live in a world where every single word you utter — even in the privacy of your own bedroom — is recorded, stored, and can be used against you at a later date.

If this sounds too far-fetched to be real, read on. Unfortunately, it only gets worse.  Here are a few points from the documents:

  • There is an entire page explaining specific directions for turning Samsung Smart TVs into a listening device; when you turn it off, it goes into “fake-off” mode and begins acting as a listening device.
  • Smartphones are infected, and send geolocation, audio and text communications to the CIA directly, as well as secretly activating their camera and microphone at will. This is true for iPhone, Android – you name it.
  • The CIA also has an entire unit that infects and controls Windows users, even on computers not connected to the internet (embedded in CDs and DVDs, etc.)
  • Gaming consoles and many Internet of Things gadgets are open mics. Americans who have these devices are under constant surveillance even in their own homes, 24-7.
  • If you own a computer with Windows on it, it has several backdoors that can be leveraged any time the CIA (or other hackers) so desire; they can add files, take control of it, or do whatever you are able to do on your own computer.
  • Tools exist that allow the CIA to take over cars, trucks, planes, medical devices, and hospital technology.

These are just a few of the points that affect every American.  There is much more in the Vault7 release, including that the CIA was actively researching the ability to remotely control  modern cars and trucks, offering the possibility of a near-perfect assassination.

Twitter, as of this writing, is completely on fire with this latest news. True to Wikileaks’ past patterns, the documents were released with a very brief overview, encouraging individual readers to research the information themselves. This effectively crowdsources the research, allowing for efforts to be spread across the globe. Users of Twitter, Gab, reddit and 4chan are all deep into the documents, connecting dots and putting information together to create the big picture — a genuinely horrifying one.

Interestingly enough, some Twitter users are already reporting that fellow users tweeting about Vault7 are seeing their accounts shut down.  Gab, meanwhile, is encouraging its users to dig deep.

There will be much more at Liberty Nation over the next few days about Vault7; there is far more involved than just the data outlined above. Other points to be considered include:

  • Is this a counterattack to the Deep State’s well-publicized attacks on President Trump? If so, who is behind the leak?
  • As Wikileaks reports, the CIA ‘lost’ its entire weaponized malware trove; it’s now out there and available to anyone who wants it — and that includes cyber criminals.
  • How will this affect U.S. foreign relations — especially the revelation that the CIA is operating a ‘hacker base’ in Frankfort, Germany?

More about these and other concerns regarding the WikiLeaks document dump as the situation develops here at Liberty Nation.

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Kit Perez

Intelligence & Privacy Columnist at Liberty Nation
Kit is a criminal intelligence and deception analyst. She writes on the surveillance state, digital security and counterintelligence, and teaches classes on digital countersurveillance. Kit's articles have been published in Patrick Henry Society and Order of the White Rose, as well as Patrolling Magazine and many others. Kit resides in the American Redoubt.
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