Two days after unveiling what he claimed to be the Central Intelligence Agency’s “entire hacking capacity,” Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says it’s still not clear if the CIA targeted Americans.
Speaking Thursday during a live web broadcast from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has remained in seclusion for the past five years, Assange said it is still unknown whether the CIA concentrated it’s spying activity on Americans or foreign interests.
“The answer is not known,” Assange said when asked about the matter. His group, he said, has a list of more than 22,000 Internet addresses, known as IP addresses, “corresponding to CIA activities within the United States.” At issue is the fact that he isn’t sure what exactly what was taking place at those addresses.
Assange also used to platform to call out a CNN reporter who asked whether or not the CIA’s actions would be considered legal “as long as these are overseas targets” as suspicious.
“There are many questions that might be asked by CNN. One that seems to defend the interests of the CIA, I think, is a bit problematic as being the first question to ask,” said Assange.
Tuesday’s leak of more than 8,000 documents sent the federal government, already hit several times by high profile leaks, into a tailspin as some of the spy agency’s most top secret and highly guarded cyber tools were revealed to the world.
Despite vows from the federal government to find the person responsible for leaking the documents to Wikileaks, Assange remained defiant, blaming the American government for allowing itself to be hacked.
“The Central Intelligence Agency lost control of its entire cyberweapons arsenal,” Assange said. “This is an historic act of devastating incompetence to have created such an arsenal and stored it all in one place and not secured it.”
WikiLeaks has carried out a global crusade in recent years to expose government secrets through a series of document drops. One such incident was credited with the downfall of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign after a hack of the DNC revealed a series of embarrassing emails documenting chaos and backstabbing within the democratic party.
In a statement on Wednesday, CIA spokesman Jonathan Liu denied allegations that the agency had spied on Americans and said CIA spy techniques are reserved only for potential foreign threats.
“CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and CIA does not do so,” said Liu.