US Federal authorities launch criminal investigation into publication of documents by Wikileaks
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 09-Mar-2017

New York, March 9: Federal authorities on Wednesday launched a criminal investigation into the security breach that resulted in the public release of documents by Wikileaks. Looking upon the seriousness of the case, both Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and CIA are co-ordinating the inquiry.
Nearly 9,000 of those documents were posted Tuesday by WikiLeaks, providing a detailed look at the CIA's efforts to capture conversations, encrypted communications and online browsing data by hacking into smartphones, computers and even televisions.

However, the official requesting for his anonymity said that the inquiry is being coordinated by the FBI, following Tuesday's disclosure by the website WikiLeaks, which stated that the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence "lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.'' The official further stated that they will seek to determine whether the disclosure represented a breach from the outside or a leak from inside the spy agency. A separate review will attempt to assess the damage caused by such a disclosure, the official added.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Sean Spicer Wednesday declined to confirm the authenticity of the documents or whether the tools were every used against Americans, but he said such breaches "should be a major concern.'' "This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our country, our security,'' Spicer said."This alleged leak should concern every American for its impact on national security. Anybody who leaks classified information will be held accountable to the maximum extent of the law.''

Notably, the Members of Congress, including House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said Tuesday's WikiLeaks disclosures underscored a need to conduct a government-wide security assessment of its most sensitive information.

One the other side, the WikiLeaks website said the CIA hacking division involved "more than 5,000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other weaponized malware.'' WikiLeaks did not identify the source of the information, but the organization said that it hopped the dissemination of the documents would prompt "a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of the cyber weapons.''

U.S. intelligence officials concluded last year that WikiLeaks release of thousands of hacked emails ahead of last year's presidential election was part of the scheme carried out by Russia in an attempt to intervene in the race in an effort to favor the Trump campaign. WikiLeaks has also denied that it was working with Russian authorities.

Interestingly, weeks before the November election, Trump was also lauding WikiLeaks following its publication of correspondence from John Podesta, then-campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.