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Iran Press TV

WikiLeaks endangering US personnel and operations: CIA

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 9, 2017 2:2PM

The CIA has publicly accused WikiLeaks of "jeopardizing" the US national security and helping adversaries inflict harm on the United States over the leak of thousands of documents that reveal the agency's hacking and spying secrets.

"The American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries," the CIA said in a statement.

"Such disclosures not only jeopardize US personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm," it added.

However, the spy agency said it could not yet confirm the authenticity of the nearly 9,000 secret files obtained and published by WikiLeaks.

The CIA rejected the notion that it spies on the American people, and insisted the agency's mission is to "aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries."

"It is also important to note that CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and CIA does not do so," the statement read.

The explosive documents exposed by WikiLeaks showed that the CIA sneaks into high-tech phones and televisions to spy on users around the world, including people in the United States.

They also revealed that the agency has routinely used techniques that enable its hackers to disguise themselves as hacking groups based in Russia and other countries.

US intelligence agencies have launched a criminal investigation into the publication of the secret files, with intelligence and law enforcement officials already pointing the finger at CIA contractors.

WikiLeaks claimed that nearly all of the CIA's cyber tools have been stolen and are potentially in the hands of foreign spies and former US government hackers and contractors.

The White House said President Donald Trump was "extremely concerned" about the security breach.

"Anybody who leaks classified information will be held to the highest degree of law," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Wednesday.

The WikiLeaks dump came amid an ongoing feud between Trump and the US intelligence community over Russia's alleged efforts to influence the November election in favor of the Republican billionaire.

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