On Tuesday, March 7, WikiLeaks released thousands of documents from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The documents detail how to break into smartphones, computers, and other technology.
According to the New York Times, the documents are likely genuine though the authenticity is not confirmed. Though the content is highly technical—for example, there are hundreds of million lines of computer code—the information will shock the world: the CIA and other allied intelligence services have broken through encryption on phone and messaging applications such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Telegram. In addition, the government can also access Android phones and obtain “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
The public doesn’t know who leaked the documents yet. However, WikiLeaks said the individual feels that these issues “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”
Some details from the leaks may be particularly troubling to those worried about their privacy. There apparently is a code named “Weeping Angel” can use Samsung smart TVs to listen in on people, even if the device is turned off. WikiLeaks claims that the code was created with British intelligence.
Ultimately though, the programs released today by WikiLeaks seem to target smaller, individual subjects than larger ones.