Morell told CBS March 11 that the leak of documents published this week by WikiLeaks must have come from inside the agency.
"This data is not shared outside CIA. It's only inside CIA," Morell said in an interview with CBS This Morning. The data that was published existed only on a "secret network" not linked anywhere outside the CIA.
"It's on CIA's top secret network, which is not connected to any other network. So, this has to be an inside job," he said.
Among the thousands of CIA documents published by WikiLeaks were revelations that the agency was capable of using microphones on smart TVs and phones to listen in on targets and was exploring the possibility of taking over internet-connected cars.
But ordinary Americans "don't need to worry at all" about this stuff, the former spy chief said, because the agency is not allowed to spy on them.
"The CIA is not permitted by law to target Americans," he explained, by way of comfort.
"They should actually be proud that their intelligence agency has developed these capabilities to collect intelligence on our adversaries… that's how the average American should think about it."
Morell agreed with the US administration that the CIA's systems need an upgrade. The senior CIA leadership and Congress have a lot of tough questions to ask themselves as to how the leak was able to occur, he said.