Via the widespread use of private contractors, formerly-secret intelligence hacking tools are seeping into the free market, giving anyone with enough know-how all the intelligence gathering power of the CIA at their fingertips. A series of articles written between December 3, 2017, and February 14, 2018, by George Eliason of OpEdNews, dives deep into the effects of CIA and other government agencies using contractors for intelligence gathering.
The first article “The Private Contractors Using Vault 7 Tools for US Gov: Testimony Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild” explains that private contractors are using CIA hacking tools revealed in WikiLeaks’s Vault 7 release on the people of the world. The CIA is limited by law in what they can do with their hacking tools but subcontractors, who make most of their money pushing political agendas, have little oversight on what they can do. Eighty per cent of the National Security Agency’s budget is privatized, meaning that 80 per cent of their budget is going to people in the private sector who may also be working on other agendas. This intel that is gathered by the contractors is called open source intel, and is gathered through social media, according to the article. Because it is open source information, it could “shift hands,” meaning it could be either shared or sold “before being classified by agencies.” According to Eliason, “Congressmen, Governors, and news outlets that were interested started getting the same ‘Intel’ the CIA was. It also became clear quickly that the new Intel could be framed on whatever bias you chose. This meant it could be used to create policy.”
Contractors constitute 51 per cent of the Defense Intelligence Agency; they make up a similar number at the CIA, and 50-60 per cent of the National Clandestine Service. This intel gathering is dangerous to the public because if any congressman, governor or news outlet wanted to get the same intel as the CIA all they have to do is pay. And once they have paid, the intel collected could be framed to whatever bias chosen. It could then be used to misinform the population, or even to create policy.
George Eliason, “When the Deep State Bites- Bite Back,” OpEd News, February 10, 2018, https://www.opednews.com/articles/When-the-Deep-State-Bites-by-George-Eliason-Agencies_Counterintelligence_Counterterrorism_Danger-180210-404.html.
George Eliason, “How Intel for Hire is Making US Intelligence a Threat to The World Part 2,” February 14, 2018, https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/How-Intel-for-Hire-is-Maki-by-George-Eliason-Agencies_Espionage_Intelligence_Intelligence-Agencies-180214-219.html.
George Eliason, “The Private Contractors Using Vault 7 Tools for US Gov: Testimony Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild Part 1,” March 31, 2017,https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Private-Contractors-Us-by-George-Eliason-Hackers_Intelligence_Intelligence-Agencies_Websites-170331-791.html.
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