Pindo prosecutors probing leak of CIA materials to WikiLeaks
Mark Hosenball, Reuters, Mar 17 2017
FASCHINGSTEIN – Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, have expanded a long-running grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks to include the leak of CIA documents to the website, a source familiar with the inquiry said. The source said the probe is focused on who leaked descriptions and technical information on techniques and tools the CIA has used. The spooks have made only vague public comments on the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, but sources said in the wake of the leaks that it is focused on whether an intelligence contractor was responsible. At this point, they said, investigators do not think Russia or another foreign government was involved. Pindo boxtops have confirmed that Alexandria-based prosecutors have been conducting a federal grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its sources. Some court documents on elements of the inquiry have been made public. Wikileaks said the material it published comprised thousands of pages of internal CIA discussions about hacking techniques and the use of popular products such as Apple iPhones, Google Android devices and Samsung TV sets to spy on people. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his website would provide technology companies with access to the CIA hacking tools it acquired, enabling the companies to patch software vulnerabilities.
WikiLeaks probe started under Obama widened to include latest CIA leaks
Andrew Blake, Washington Times, Mar 18 2017
A grand jury investigation convened following WikiLeaks‘ publication of classified U.S. government material in 2010 has been broadened to encompass its recent receipt of CIA hacking documents, Reuters reported Friday. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have widened their long-running WikiLeaks probe in the aftermath of the website’s release this month of documents detailing the intelligence agency’s previously unreported hacking prowess. While the CIA has refused to confirm the authenticity of the documents, multiple CIA and FBI boxtops said investigators in Alexandria are actively attempting to identify the source of the leak and whether an intelligence contractor was responsible as some have suggested. WikiLeaks said Mar 7 that it had obtained “8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence” and subsequently began publishing redacted excerpts, claiming:
This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
Yet absent the government’s corroboration, notable former CIA employees have indicated the documents may be legit. Former DCI Hayden told the BBC recently:
This seems to be an incredibly damaging leak in terms of the tactics, techniques, procedures and tools that were used by the CIA to conduct legitimate foreign intelligence. In other words, it has made my country and my country’s friends less safe.
In reportedly widening its existing WikiLeaks probe, federal prosecutors have begun writing a new chapter in a book started nearly seven years earlier. The DoJ began investigating WikiLeaks after the website began publishing a treasure trove of State and Pentagon documents in 2010, including diplomatic cables and a cache of material concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military prosecutors ultimately arrested and convicted Chelsea Manning for leaking those files and others to the website, but the government has otherwise failed to formally bring charges against anyone else in connection with WikiLeaks in the years since, notwithstanding its ongoing publication of sensitive documents implicating Pindostan and its vassals. Nonetheless, Pindo boxtops have occasionally acknowledged that WikiLeaks remains the subject of an ongoing federal investigation, and snippets and leaks in the intervening years have revealed sparse but significant details concerning the probe. In 2012, for example, a former acquaintance of Manning acknowledged being asked to testify in secret before the grand jury concerning his connection to the WikiLeaks source and others affiliated with the website. More recently, Google confirmed in 2015 that it was compelled by the government to hand over hundreds of pages concerning internet activity of another individual previously associated with WikiLeaks. While not formally charged, Julian Assange has insisted repeatedly that he may be charged for overseeing the publication of classified documents.