The plot of John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold hinges on the bureaucratic details of retirement benefits for spies. Recently uncovered documents from the Central Intelligence Agency archives show that real-world spy stories sometimes do, too.
In October of 2014, then-FBI Director James Comey gave a speech at the Brookings Institute about the “Going Dark” problem, and the challenge of balancing privacy and security in the digital age. In response, MuckRock user Joseph Uchill requested records about how the Bureau specifically planned to address this issue, any potential consequences that might result. Two years later, he got his response: hundreds of pages of talking points, withheld in their entirety.
Declassified CIA emails released to Michael Morisy show that the Agency believed that their online FOIA Reading Room had been taken down by a vicious cyberattack. Later emails admitted, however, that the attacks against the Agency’s website had been unsuccessful - and that the damage had been entirely self-inflicted.
A memo in the CREST database shows that 30 years ago, an as-yet still redacted incident prompted the CIA and NSA to have a meeting about ways the agencies could prevent computer hackers from infiltrating the government’s data.
In 2007, Homeland Security ran a secret project called “Aurora” to test if hackers could exploit cybersecurity vulnerabilities to cause physical damage to American infrastructure. The project took a year to plan and lasted all of an explosive three minutes. It was a terrifying success.
Yuno Parks sent this request to the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America
Allan Lasser sent this request to the Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General of the United States of America
|Suggestion: Request your local election board's security policies|