Former CIA director David Petraeus viewed the recent outburst of WikiLeaks document Vault 7 as a vendor causing the developing relationship between the spy agency and the tech industry again to unstable.
According to Petraeus, the WikiLeaks exposed documents, claiming allegations against CIA’s hacking tools could be as damaging as Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA in 2013.
“This will damage the relationship that was being re-established with IT companies in the wake of the Snowden revelations,” Petraeus told KPCC on Wednesday. “They did enormous damage to those relationships and there was a rebuilding process that was going on. I’m afraid that this could set that back a bit.”
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In balancing between privacy and national security, Silicon Valley has been at odds for years with law enforcement and the intelligence community. For instance, Apple, in 2016 fought a case against FBI over an issue to unlock the iPhone of an attacker involved in San Bernardino shooting incident, as demanded by the Bureau.
Vault 7, the WikiLeaks documents claims that CIA is allegedly involved in exploiting vulnerabilities to the software like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Samsung and also keeping them undisclosed so as to continue with the spying on the devices.
Ignoring those vulnerabilities – letting any actual secret slipping – for the purpose of security that hardware and software makers struggle for in the devices it sells. Apple and google like companies offer up to $200,000 to the hacker who finds and report exploits.
However, the CIA has not disapproved or verified the leak document validity but also said that they were doing their job by “cutting edge” technology.
The stiff relation between US spies and silicon valley might have already been hurt.
“I don’t think this does anything to make it any worse because I don’t think it can get much worse,” said Paul Rosenzweig, founder of cybersecurity company Redbranch Consulting and the former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the US Department of Homeland Security.
Apple and Google have claimed that they have already fixed the vulnerabilities for which WikiLeaks had offered to hand over the exploit.