document release

July 10, 2019 – FBI’s Chris Wray is going to court to fight against the release of State Dept. official Kathleen Kavalec’s memos

Christopher Wray (r) tells NBC’s Lester Holt at an Aspen Security Forum in July, 2018 that he considered resigning as FBI director. (Credit: NBC News)

“The FBI is going to court to fight the public release of a small number of documents the State Department sent to agents from Christopher Steele, the British intelligence operative and Hillary Clinton-paid political muckraker, during the 2016 election.

Normally, such Freedom of Information Act cases don’t merit public attention. This one does.

To hear the FBI tell it, the release of former Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Kavalec’s documents is tantamount to giving up the keys to President Trump’s nuclear briefcase, aiding the enemy or assisting terrorists.

“We know that terrorist organizations and other hostile or foreign intelligence groups have the capacity and ability to gather information from myriad sources, analyze it and deduce means and methods from disparate details to defeat the U.S. government’s collection efforts,” an FBI assistant section chief swore in an affidavit supporting the request to keep the documents secret.

The FBI can’t afford to “jeopardize the fragile relationships that exist between the United States and certain foreign governments,” the FBI official declared in another dramatic argument against the conservative group Citizens United’s request to release the memos.

And if that wasn’t enough, the bureau actually claimed that “FBI special agents have privacy interests from unnecessary, unofficial questioning as to the conduct of investigations and other FBI business.”

In other words, agents don’t want to have to answer to the public, which pays their salary, when questions arise about the investigative work, as has happened in the Russia case.

The FBI’s July 10 court filing speaks volumes about Director Christopher Wray’s efforts to thwart the public understanding of what really happened in the FBI’s now-debunked Russia collusion probe.

Steele’s contacts at State can’t possibly be equated to the nation’s most sensitive secrets. The same research he provided to State and the FBI in fall 2016 was being provided to Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, and to the media. (Read more: The Hill, 7/30/2019)

March 31, 2017 – WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations

Wikileaks Vault 7 Logo (Credit: Wikileaks)

“WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on current and past hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on terrorists and other foreign targets.

The release Friday of the CIA’s “Marble Framework” comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks dumped onto the Internet a trove of files — dubbed “Vault 7” — that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets’ phones, computers and other electronic devices.

“This appears to be one of the most technically damaging leaks ever done by WikiLeaks, as it seems designed to directly disrupt ongoing CIA operations and attribute previous operations,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California at Berkeley.

The material includes the secret source code of an “obfuscation” technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems. The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow’s FSB security agency or the Chinese military. But because the code contains a specific algorithm — a digital fingerprint of sorts — it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed.” (Read more: Washington Post, 3/31/2017)