Though Wikileaks highlights a darker side of the web, it also shows that intel agencies are themselves not free of these digital-security lapses.
“Are we being watched?” is a question that vexes most in the digital age. While tracking citizens would have been hobbled in earlier times given the limitations of technology then—there was the infamous Watergate scandal, though—the proliferation of internet usage and its sheer reach has led many to believe that states everywhere are spying on citizens. A recent announcement by Wikileaks only confirms those fears. According to CIA’s “Vault 7” documents leaked by the organisation, Wikileaks claims that CIA has developed malwares and viruses that can be uploaded on phones, whether they are on Android, Windows or iOS platforms, and even on to smart TVs to spy on people. Wikileaks has further stated that CIA has been developing its own army of hackers and has been contacting agencies for security codes.
While all this may stoke unreasonable fears of the Orwellian Big Brother, those believing this is not possible are being naive. Though Wikileaks highlights a darker side of the web, it also shows that intel agencies are themselves not free of these digital-security lapses. While what Wikileaks claims could be possible, this doesn’t mean that CIA or deep state has the masterkey to mass-surveillance. Even with the tools available, the best an agency can do is selective targeting. That is not to say it won’t be possible in the future. Over time, companies like Apple and Google will have to ensure that they stay one step ahead of intelligence agencies as our reliance on the digital world increases.