WikiLeaks published purported CIA documents Tuesday night that alleged U.S. intelligence officials routinely hack into smartphones and television sets to monitor people worldwide. The same documents allege that the digital tools the CIA uses in these operations have all been copied and stolen, meaning these cyberweapons might be in the hands of criminals and foreign spies.
Another trick the CIA allegedly uses is covering its tracks to make its activities look like they're coming from Russian agents if detected. This is a known practice in the intelligence community, and it's why cybersecurity experts warn against buying into sweeping claims that a particular nation was behind a leak or cyber attack.
As always, the CIA refused to comment on the authenticity of the documents or the veracity of the WikiLeaks claims.
Stu Burguiere pointed out Wednesday morning on "The Glenn Beck Program" that the truthfulness of the rumors is only one aspect of a broader issue — namely, the lengths to which we're willing to allow the government to go in the name of safety.
"The principle of this is to elevate it to a conversation about whether these things should be allowed anyway," Stu said.
"Yeah, because it's also to elevate it to a point where people care about it. Because a lot of Americans think, 'Well, I'm not doing anything wrong anyway. What do I care if they're watching?' Well, because you don't know what they consider wrong," Pat said. "At any given point, what you're doing might be wrong, or they might construe it as wrong, or we might not always have the benevolence in power that we have today. So you don't ever want the government to have this kind of power and use it against us."
Pat continued: "That's why whether you're doing anything wrong or not isn't the point. It's, 'Should they be doing this at all?' That's the point. Because the fact that they can do it means if anything ever turns kind of ugly, then we're in real trouble. I mean you're really talking about a seriously oppressive government if they can do all of this. It's kind of scary. It's chilling."