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Manhunt Underway for CIA ‘Vault 7’ Leaker

A manhunt is currently underway inside the Central Intelligence Agency for whoever leaked thousands of documents to anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, CBS News reports.

The leaked data, dubbed “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, details the CIA’s offensive cyber capabilities and specific attacks against cell phones, computers and smart TVs.

The joint investigation, run by the CIA and FBI, is looking into hundreds of agency employees and contractors who would have had access to the material.

“Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material,” CBS says. “Investigators are going through those names.”

The Vault 7 data dump, the first documents of which were published in March, has widely been described as the most substantial leak since Edward Snowden.

Although the CIA has not commented on the authenticity of the documents, experts say they appear to be genuine.

“As we’ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity,” CIA spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak said in a rare statement at the time. “Despite the efforts of Assange and his ilk, CIA continues to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo criticized WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange during his first public speech as agency head last week for making “common cause with dictators.”

“Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today,” Pompeo said. “Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy; in reality, however, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait; their moral compass, nonexistent.”

“I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history.”

Assange responded the following day with a lengthy statement accusing Pompeo of attempting to subvert the “First Amendment and fundamental notions that are intrinsic to American democracy.”

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely: https://keybase.io/mikaelthalen

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