The first part of the leak, dubbed by WikiLeaks as "the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency," comprises over 8,700 documents and files, and reveals the scale and scope of the CIA's global hacking and tracking program.
Perhaps more than anything, social media users were freaked out by the agency's seemingly Orwellian technical capabilities. Edward Snowden, former National Security Agency contractor turned whistleblower, explained just how big a deal it was that the CIA was using consumer electronics to target people.
Imagine a world where the actual CIA spends its time figuring out how to spy on you through your TV. That's today. https://t.co/dQHBrsyIoI— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 7 марта 2017 г.
The CIA reports show the USG developing vulnerabilities in US products, then intentionally keeping the holes open. Reckless beyond words.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 7 марта 2017 г.
Turning to Vault 7's political implications, Twitter users pointed out that the revelations made in the leaks about the CIA's capabilities in Russia make the Obama administration's evidence-free 'Russian election hack' claims seem even more hypocritical.
Obama accused Russia of cyberattacks while his CIA turned all internet enabled consumer electronics in Russia into listening devices. Wow!— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) 7 марта 2017 г.
Others still pointed to a very important detail about the CIA's capabilities and efforts to misdirect attribution via phony digital fingerprints, accusing others (hint: Russia) of doing what they themselves may have done. Popular comments on this point were chock-full of sarcasm and memes.
Other users also noted that it was impressive, and scary, just how far the CIA had moved ahead of their Cold War-era opponents, the East German Stasi and the Soviet KGB. Those agencies were known for being fearsome and effective, but their technical capabilities were extremely primitive, and the butt of numerous jokes. The CIA, users said, is shaping up to look more and more like these agencies all the time, but with technology that's far more advanced.
If the #WIKILEAKS story is true, which they've never been proven wrong, the CIA under Obama has been far more intrusive than the KGB..ever— Curley 4 Kratos (@Curley4Kratos) 8 марта 2017 г.
Bizarrely, in spite of these revelations, some Twitter users still rushed to defend the dominant Democratic Party and US mainstream media narrative, claiming that the WikiLeaks CIA leak was "another distraction from Trump's ties with Russia" and that the revelations were all a ruse by "KGB Putin," who "wants to destroy our CIA."
If you don't see that the "Wikileaks CIA release" is another distraction from Trump's ties with Russia, you haven't been paying attention.— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) 7 марта 2017 г.
Wikileaks is run by KGB Putin.— drhug (@drhug) 7 марта 2017 г.
Putin wants to destroy our CIA.
Putin uses Wikileaks to elect trump
Republicans love it all.
Others still accused President Trump, who has yet to comment on the leaks, of being a "russian asset" (sic) for staying silent.
you know you're president is a russian asset when wikileaks dumps a bunch of intel docs stolen from CIA and he doesn't say a word.— Hausfrau Cosmetics (@urinegate) 8 марта 2017 г.
What do Trump's opponents expect him to say? That the WikiLeaks CIA leak again confirms the ridiculousness of the hysterical 'Siberian candidate' campaign against him? Or that the surveillance behemoth built up under his predecessor has become more powerful than anyone could have possibly imagined?
Trump: The CIA wiretapped me!— jessicalong (@kukalong) 7 марта 2017 г.
MSM: Trump is lying! @wikileaks: Actually they wiretap everyone, phones, computers, tvs to cars
As WikiLeaks continues its work, and to reveal more and more classified information, it will be sure to result in more reaction, and debate, about the inner workings of powerful and secretive government institutions, shattering many myths and illusions people may have about their governments and politicians.