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Technology firms to get “exclusive access” to details of the CIA’s cyber-warfare programme: Wikileaks

Founder Julian Assange said that, after some thought, he had decided to give the tech community further leaks first

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FILE - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain, Feb. 5, 2016. VOA
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Washington, March 10, 2017: Technology firms will get “exclusive access” to details of the CIA’s cyber-warfare programme, Wikileaks said on Thursday.

According to BBC, the anti-secrecy website has published thousands of the US spy agency’s secret documents, including what it says are the CIA’s hacking tools.

Founder Julian Assange said that, after some thought, he had decided to give the tech community further leaks first.

“Once the material is effectively disarmed, we will publish additional details,” Assange was quoted as saying.

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US federal agencies have launched a criminal investigation into the release of the documents.

In response to the revelations, CIA spokeswoman Heather Fritz Horniak told the BBC: “As we’ve said previously, Julian Assange is not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity.

“Despite the efforts of Assange and his ilk, CIA continues to aggressively collect foreign intelligence overseas to protect America from terrorists, hostile nation states and other adversaries,” Horniak added.

In the first tranche of leaks, Wikileaks alleged that the CIA had developed “a giant arsenal” of malware to attack “all the systems that average people use”.

Tech firms, including Google and Apple, have said that they are developing counter-measures to combat any malware that the CIA may have developed. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)