WikiLeaks published secret CIA documents

WikiLeaks published secret CIA documents WikiLeaks has leaked what it calls a 31-page user manual for a device allegedly used by the CIA to spy on people from their televisions and smartphones, The Independent said on Sunday.

The device, code-named “Weeping Angel”, hit the headlines last month when WikiLeaks claimed the CIA had built the software to exploit vulnerabilities in Samsung products which would allow them to turn any phone or smart TV into a listening device. The group described the software as something out of George Orwell’s 1984.

The newly released CIA documents appear to corroborate the earlier claims about the capabilities of the system.

Concerns have been raised about smart TVs' security. The microphone is always on and the device is always connected to the internet, making it easier for third parties to hack into and take them over as a recording device.

Immediately prior to the release of the documents, CNN reported that U.S. authorities were considering seeking the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange. Assange is currently in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition over accusations of rape in Sweden.

He claims the U.S. government is using the allegations as a proxy and will immediately extradite him if he steps foot on Swedish soil.

The Obama administration declined to press charges against him on the grounds that as a journalist he was protected by the First Amendment and as an Australian citizen he cannot be guilty of treason against the U.S. It reportedly concluded that prosecuting WikiLeaks would be the same as prosecuting a mainstream news organisation for publishing classified information but never formally closed the case.

But the Trump administration is willing to make a move and the possible charges being considered include conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

Any charges brought against Assange would still need to be approved by high-ranking officials in the Justice Department and could come unstuck in the courts.

Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack, said: "The Department of Justice should not be treating the publication of truthful information as a reason for a criminal investigation of the publisher. Democracy has always depended on journalists being able to inform the public of what their government is doing."
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