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So 'Russian Hackers' Were CIA All Along? Twitter Reacts to WikiLeaks CIA Dump

WikiLeaks has published part one of Vault 7 – a massive trove of documents on the CIA. As expected, the leaks' contents, including new details on the intelligence agency's shocking capabilities, and important revelations about the so-called 'Russian hack', have riled up social media. Sputnik has collected some of the most interesting reactions.

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. 

A CIA internal report from 2009 shows that the spy agency repeatedly overstated the value of intelligence gained through the torture of its detainees. - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks Warns CIA Trying to Hack Cars for ‘Undetectable Assassinations’
The leak reveals that the agency has developed the means to penetrate most prominent anti-virus programs, that it has apps to turn smart televisions into recording devices, and that it has been 'looking into' ways to hijack computer systems in modern cars to carry out untraceable assassinations. 

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.

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.

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.

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."

Others still accused President Trump, who has yet to comment on the leaks, of being a "russian asset" (sic) for staying silent.

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?  

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.

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