If you’ve glanced at Wikileaks or the news revolving around it recently, you’ve heard about the CIA hacking into our phones, even on encrypted softwares, and their tactics being exposed. On Tuesday, March 7th, Wikileaks released over 7,800 documents supposedly from a CIA archive that the CIA lost control over. The documents mention certain “encrypted” apps such as WhatsApp and Signal, and detail the ways in which the CIA can hack the softwares of these apps. So, what exactly does this mean for us then?
One hack means the tools exist. Since the CIA can hack into these “encrypted” softwares, anyone can do it. Nothing online is safe. Anyone could find your private text messages or recent Google searches. We never really think of our online security being compromised, and yet it almost always is. We never think twice before googling something that may be considered “sketchy” or “dodgy” as we think a simple “Clear History” will take it all away. But, our footprints never disappear. They stain the online world, and no amount of taps on the “Clear History” button can cause them to disappear. We are constantly being watched, and there’s no way to take it away. Even when you’re on your “safe” WhatsApp group where you think you can say absolutely everything and anything, you need to be careful. If the CIA can see those texts, there have to be ways for others to see it too- employers, friends, anyone. The security cameras may not be out in plain sight, but deep down in the depths of the networks of the internet, they exist. So, next time, you’re sending a text or googling something- don’t just think about the repercussions, seriously consider them.