WikiLeaks Exposes CIA’s Covert Global Hacking Program
| Daily Caller
“WikiLeaks has released nearly 9,000 pages of files it says exposes a covert global hacking program operated by the CIA.
The document dump, which WikiLeaks is calling “Vault 7,” is the largest publication of documents stolen from the CIA, says the group, which was founded by Julian Assange.
The veracity of the documents has not been verified and it is not yet clear whether the release marks a major breach of the CIA.
According to an explainer released by WikiLeaks, the 8,761 documents had been maintained in a high-security network at CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. But the group says that the CIA “lost control” of the documents after they began circulating among a 5,000-person network of former U.S. government hackers and contractors. One of those individuals is WikiLeaks’ source, the group claims.
The documents, which include more than 70,000 redactions, show how CIA hackers use malware, trojan viruses and other tools to convert electronics, including phones and smart TVs, into covert microphones used for spying. The group also says there are documents showing that the CIA uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert hacker base for its European operations.
Among the most salacious revelations in the WikiLeaks release come from documents showing how CIA developed techniques to hack Samsung smart TVs with British intelligence services. The malware, called Weeping Angel, records audio while the target of the hack believes the TV is turned off.
One of the documents released on Tuesday purportedly shows that the CIA was working on a program as of Oct. 2014 that would infect the vehicle control systems of certain cars and trucks.
“The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations,” WikiLeaks asserts.”
Wikileaks: Want a look inside the CIA’s cyberespionage efforts?
“First it was the NSA’s turn, and now the CIA gets its Wikileaks moment. Claiming it to be the “largest intelligence publication in history,” Wikileaks has released its first installment of documents that expose the CIA’s cyberespionage efforts. If genuine, the documents unveil operations, locations, and methods that could cripple US efforts on cyberwarfare:
“Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.”
Judge Nap: Obama Wiretap Order Would Be ‘Profoundly Unconstitutional But Legal’
| Daily Caller
“Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on allegations that the Obama administration monitored Trump Tower during the 2016 election on Fox News Monday morning, calling the alleged actions “profoundly unconstitutional” but still “legal.”
“Because of the unique interpretation of a Ronald Reagan executive order… and because of the language of the USA Freedom Act,” Napolitano explained. “The NSA now has ability to capture in realtime the digital copies of everybody’s phone calls, cell and landline, everybody’s key strokes, mobile device and desktop.”
“The NSA works for the president. If the president were to ask for a transcribed copy of any of that, they’d give it to him,” he continued. “The President of the United States can order surveillance on any person inside the United States in conjunction with a certificate or a certification filed by the attorney general.”
“In my view it’s profoundly unconstitutional but it is legal because of the statue,” Napolitano stated. “Think about this, if you’re Barack Obama, and you have the ability by making a phone call to hear what Donald Trump is saying, are you going to bother to get a warrant?”
Barack Obama’s Trump Tower Wiretap Denial Reeks of Orwellian Doublespeak
| PJ Media
On Saturday, President Donald Trump shook the world by accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election — a scandal comparable to “Nixon/Watergate.” While news outlets reported that Trump cited “no evidence” to support his claims, there is a disturbing trail of breadcrumbs suggesting that the Obama administration did indeed do this.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, denied these allegations, but the very denial was disingenuous at best. In fact, one might even call it Orwellian. Here it is:
A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
This declaration is disingenuous on at least three levels, as pointed out by National Review‘s David French. First, the process which Obama’s administration allegedly used to wiretap Trump Tower (if indeed it happened) was using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Technically, it is the FISA court which “orders” such surveillance, and the Justice Department (not Obama or the White House) represents the government in proceedings before that court.
“The issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff ‘ordered’ surveillance of Trump and his associates,” French explained. Rather, the important questions are “whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so.” Reports suggest the answer to the first question is yes, and it seems very unlikely, given the explosive nature of this surveillance request, that Obama would not have known about it.
Second, it is a virtual certainty that Obama has ordered surveillance against American citizens — he has even had American citizens killed in drone operations. As French argued, “the notion that Obama would never have an American subject to surveillance is absurd.” Indeed, as he left office, President Obama gave the National Security Agency (NSA) broad powers to spy on Americans.
Finally, FISA national security investigations are significantly different from criminal investigations. The intention is not to build a criminal case, but to gather information about what foreign powers are doing — especially on U.S. soil. It is the president’s prerogative to order surveillance of a potential foreign agent. Nevertheless, as French noted, “it would be a scandal of Watergate dimension if a presidential administration sought to conduct, or did conduct, national-security surveillance against the presidential candidate of the opposition party.”
Here’s the List: More Than a Dozen Proven Victims of Obama’s Many Wiretaps
“It is not unfounded that former President Obama would wire tap President Trump during the election process. This is because he has done this before. Here is a list of individuals who were wire tapped by the Obama Administration.
WikiLeaks released the following list on February 23rd (see link here) of Obama Administration wire taps:
* The US National Security Agency bugged a private climate change strategy meeting; between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin;
* Obama bugged Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception targetting his Swiss phone;
* Obama singled out the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Johann Human, and targetted hi Swiss phone for long term interception;
* Obama stole sensitive Italian diplomatic cables detailing how Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to help patch up his relationship with US President Barack Obama, who was refusing to talk to Netanyahu;
* Obama explicitly targeted five other top EU economic officials for long term interception, including their French, Austrian and Belgian phone numbers;
* Obama explicitly targetted the phones of Italy’s ambassador to NATO and other top Italian officials for long term interception: Obama intercepted top EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret strategy and red lines to stop the US “extort[ing]” them at the WTO Doha arounds (the talks subsequently collapsed);
* Obama intercepted details of a critical private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berluscon, where the latter was told the Italian banking system was ready to “pop like a cork”.
In addition to the above list we also know now that Obama wire tapped various individuals in the US media that were reporting information not flattering to the Obama Administration. It is widely known that Obama’s Justice Department targeted journalists with wiretaps in 2013:
* In 2013 the liberal Washington Post expressed outrage after the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks. The reporter, Fox News’ James Rosen and his family, were part of an investigation into government officials anonymously leaking information to journalists. Rosen was not charged but his movements and actions were tracked.
* Also in 2013, members of the Associated Press were also a target of the surveillance. The ultra liberal New Yorker even noted that “In moderate and liberal circles, at least, the phone-records scandal, partly because it involves the dear old A.P. and partly because it raises anew the specter of Big Brother, may well present the most serious threat to Obama’s reputation.”
* Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said in 2014 that her personal computer and CBS laptop were hacked after she began filing stories about Benghazi that were unflattering to the Obama administration. A source who checked her laptop said the hacker used spyware “proprietary to a government agency,” according to an article in the New York Post.
Update – WikiLeaks tweeted overnight that the Obama Administration spied on their journalists as well.”
Obama calls Japanese leader to express regret for WikiLeaks spying scandal
| the Guardian | 2015
“Barack Obama has called Japan’s leader to express regret over recent WikiLeaks allegations that the US had spied on senior Japanese officials.
Obama told prime minister Shinzo Abe that he thought the trouble the revelations caused Abe and his government was regrettable, a Japanese government spokesman told reporters.
The 40-minute call took place Wednesday morning Japan time.
Japanese officials faced questioning from the media and in parliament after WikiLeaks posted online what appeared to be five US National Security Agency reports on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change. They date from 2007 to 2009. WikiLeaks also posted what it says was an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts.
Abe told Obama that the allegations could undermine trust between the countries, and reiterated his request for an investigation of the matter.”
Obama Advisor Rhodes Is Wrong: The President Can Order A Wiretap, And Why Trump May Have The Last Laugh
– ZeroHedge | Tyler Durden
Following Trump’s stunning allegation that Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower in October of 2016, prior to the presidential election, which may or may not have been sourced from a Breitbart story, numerous Democrats and media pundits have come out with scathing accusations that Trump is either mentally disturbed, or simply has no idea what he is talking about.
The best example of this came from Ben Rhodes, a former senior adviser to President Obama in his role as deputy National Security Advisor, who slammed Trump’s accusation, insisting that “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.” He also said “only a liar” could make the case, as Trump suggested, that Obama wire tapped Trump Tower ahead of the election.
It would appear, however, that Rhodes is wrong, especially as pertains to matters of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, and its associated FISA court, under which the alleged wiretap of Donald Trump would have been granted, as it pertained specifically to Trump’s alleged illicit interactions with Russian entities.
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and
(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801(h) of this title; and
if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.
While (B) seems to contradict the underlying permissive nature of Section 1802 as it involves a United States person, what the Snowden affair has demonstrated all too clearly, is how frequently the NSA and FISA court would make US citizens collateral damage. To be sure, many pointed out the fact that Fox News correspondent James Rosen was notoriously wiretapped in 2013 when the DOJ was investigating government leaks. The Associated Press was also infamously wiretapped in relation to the same investigation.”
Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance
“President Trump recently tweeted claiming that former President Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. One can only imagine how nuts the media would have gone if the roles had been reversed: President Trump wiretapping either Obama or the Clintons, though his DOJ could have authority to do just that given the expansive leaks of intelligence information by Obama and Clinton supporters the last few months. Heck, he could wiretap the media at this point, legally and legitimately, as the sources of these unlawful leaks, for which Obama himself set precedent. Do liberals understand what Pandora’s Box Obama opened up by Obama using the powers of the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on his political opponents? Even Nixon never did that.
If the stories are correct, Obama or his officials might even face prosecution. But, we are still early in all of this and there are a lot of rumors flying around so the key is if the reports are accurate. We just don’t know at this time. The stories currently are three-fold: first, that Obama’s team tried to get a warrant from a regular, Article III federal court on Trump, and was told no by someone along the way (maybe the FBI), as the evidence was that weak or non-existent; second, Obama’s team then tried to circumvent the federal judiciary’s independent role by trying to mislabel the issue one of “foreign agents,” and tried to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “courts”, and were again turned down, when the court saw Trump named (an extremely rare act of FISA court refusal of the government, suggesting the evidence was truly non-existent against Trump); and so, third, Obama circumvented both the regular command of the FBI and the regularly appointed federal courts, by placing the entire case as a FISA case (and apparently under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the FISA court unwittingly granted, which Obama then misused to spy on Trump and many connected to Trump. Are these allegations true? We don’t know yet, but if any part of them are than Obama and/or his officials could face serious trouble.
Can a President be charged with a crime? Only once out of office. While in office, impeachment remains the exclusive remedy in order to avoid a single judicial branch trying to overturn an election, such as a grand jury in any part of the country could. Once out of office, a President remains immune from civil liability for his duties while President, under a 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court. However, as the Nixon pardon attests, nothing forecloses a criminal prosecution of the President after his presidency is complete for crimes against the country. Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, should know that.
At the outset, the NSA should have never been involved in a domestic US election. Investigating the election, or any hacking of the DNC or the phishing of Podesta’s emails, would not be a FISA matter. It does not fit the definition of war sabotage or a “grave” “hostile” war-like attack on the United States, as constrictively covered by FISA. It is your run-of-the-mill hacking case covered by existing United States laws that require use of the regular departments of the FBI, Department of Justice, and Constitutionally Senate-appointed federal district court judges, and their appointed magistrates, not secretive, deferential FISA courts.”
REPORT: FBI Said to Have ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ To Wiretap TRUMP Tower!
“Earlier this morning, Trump took to Twitter to express his outrage over wiretapping at Trump Tower during Obama’s Presidency. Back in November, the media did confirm that wiretapping did allegedly take place, via Heat Street:
Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request […].
The original FISA request which specifically named and broadly targeted Donald Trump was denied, a second request was redrafted months later which narrowed down on equipment in Trump Tower. The second request is said to have been granted, despite the fact that FBI sources did not believe these servers to be of actual national security or possess any illegal ties to Russia. The notion that this second FISA warrant was granted is highly significant as they exist to investigate cases when Foreign Intelligence is suspected of operations in the US.
The implication is that Trump or one of his employees was secretly functioning as a Russian-sanctioned spy (which is obviously absurd). However illegitimate the request was, the granting of said FISA request allows the government major access:
Pursuant to FISA, the Court entertains applications submitted by the United States Government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. Most of the Court’s work is conducted ex parte as required by statute, and due to the need to protect classified national security information.
Contrary to a lack of any evidence by the Obama Administration or FBI, the possibility of the second FISA request being granted would indeed monitor activity within Trump Tower. Again, this FISA request was issued with no definitive proof/evidence that Trump had any nefarious ties to Russia – instead, it bears the hallmarks of a political witch hunt.
If proven, there is a good chance the issuing judge and corresponding FBI personnel will soon face serious jail time. Liberal media is ignoring this, and instead seems to have coordinated a large online campaign with headlines that almost consistently read “Provides No Evidence”. So let’s get this straight: The GOP is accused of colluding with Russians MSM publishes as a front-page story fact, Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping and… “PROVIDES NO EVIDENCE!”
Obama wire-tapped his phones at Trump Tower before the election in ‘Nixon/Watergate’ style scandal
– Daily Mail UK
“The Obama administration has strongly denied President Donald Trump’s claims that Barack Obama wire-tapped his phones at Trump Tower before the election.
Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis released a statement Saturday afternoon refuting Trump’s wire-tapping claims.
‘A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,’ Lewis wrote.
‘As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.’
Lewis’ statement comes shortly after Trump fired off a flurry of tweets early Saturday morning claiming that the former president had been spying on him in October, a month before his election victory.
‘Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!’
McCarthyism, which the president used in his first tweet, is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.
Trump started tweeting shortly after 3.30am ET and posed the question: ‘Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?’
In another tweet Trump said it was a ‘new low’ for the former president, compared it to ‘Nixon/Watergate’ and called Obama a ‘bad (or sick) guy’.
‘It seems unthinkable. If that were the case by some chance, that means that a federal judge would have found that there was either probable cause that he had committed a crime or was an agent of a foreign power,’ the official said.
According to the official, a wiretap cannot be directed at a US facility, without finding probable cause that the phone lines or internet addresses were being used by agents of a foreign power.
‘You can’t just go around and tap buildings,’ the official told the Post.
Another former senior US official, who worked under the Obama administration, told CNN there was no such investigation of Trump, nor were his phones tapped.
‘This did not happen. It is false. Wrong,’ the former official said.
The official echoed that of others saying Obama could not have ordered this and adding that it would have been taken to a judge by investigators, but investigators never did that.”
– Let’s all remember the time the Obama Admistration spying apparatus tapped the phones of Germany’s Chancellor and France’s president Hollande, wherein the Obama denied it, then later stated Obama was not aware of what his NSA was doing. On the heels of President Trump’s newest accusations, recall we are dealing with Obama, an individual with a record of secret spying and lying about it. Just like Nixon. This is going to get very interesting. /CJ
Angela Merkel’s call to Obama: are you bugging my mobile phone?
– the Guardian | 2013
“The furore over the scale of American mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden shifted to an incendiary new level on Wednesday evening when Angela Merkel of Germany called Barack Obama to demand explanations over reports that the US National Security Agency was monitoring her mobile phone.
Merkel was said by informed sources in Germany to be “livid” over the reports and convinced, on the basis of a German intelligence investigation, that the reports were utterly substantiated.
The German news weekly, Der Spiegel, reported an investigation by German intelligence, prompted by research from the magazine, that produced plausible information that Merkel’s mobile was targeted by the US eavesdropping agency. The German chancellor found the evidence substantial enough to call the White House and demand clarification.
The outrage in Berlin came days after President François Hollande of France also called the White House to confront Obama with reports that the NSA was targeting the private phone calls and text messages of millions of French people.
While European leaders have generally been keen to play down the impact of the whistleblowing disclosures in recent months, events in the EU’s two biggest countries this week threatened an upward spiral of lack of trust in transatlantic relations.
Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, made plain that Merkel upbraided Obama unusually sharply and also voiced exasperation at the slowness of the Americans to respond to detailed questions on the NSA scandal since the Snowden revelations first appeared in the Guardian in June.
Merkel told Obama that “she unmistakably disapproves of and views as completely unacceptable such practices, if the indications are authenticated,” Seifert said. “This would be a serious breach of confidence. Such practices have to be halted immediately.”
The sharpness of the German complaint direct to an American president strongly suggested that Berlin had no doubt about the grounds for protest. Seibert voiced irritation that the Germans had waited for months for proper answers from Washington to Berlin on the NSA operations.
Merkel told Obama she expected the Americans “to supply information over the possible scale of such eavesdropping practices against Germany and reply to questions that the federal government asked months ago”, Seibert said.
The White House responded that Merkel’s mobile is not being tapped. “The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” said a statement from Jay Carney, the White House spokesman.
But Berlin promptly signalled that the rebuttal referred to the present and the future and did not deny that Merkel’s communications had been monitored in the past.
Asked by the Guardian if the US had monitored the German chancellor’s phone in the past, a top White House official declined to deny that it had.
“The Obama administration engaged in surveillance of Trump Tower communications during the 2016 Election. With that fact now front and center, voters would do well to recall all of the “leaks” that were said to be coming from inside the then-Trump campaign.
Were operatives working under the direction of a then-sitting President of the United States, the source of those leaks? Some are already suggesting YES, making what Barack Obama potentially did in 2016 MUCH WORSE than anything Richard Nixon did leading up to the Watergate scandal. This is big. This is the Obama Shadow Government now being exposed in real time:
UPDATE: Sources now indicating top Democrats and Republicans were aware of the surveillance (and potential subsequent leaks) being conducted on/against the Trump campaign. These include, but are not limited to, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham.”