By Steve Neavling
The FBI is poised to take a major role in determining the identity of the person who gave a trove of CIA documents to WikiLeaks.
The latest leak raises questions about the intelligence community’s ability to keep digital records from getting released to the public.
Army private Chelsea Manning and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were among the latest to leak secret documents.
“Anybody who thinks that the Manning and Snowden problems were one-offs is just dead wrong,’’ Joel Brenner, former head of U.S. counterintelligence at the office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Washington Post. “Ben Franklin said three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead. If secrets are shared on systems in which thousands of people have access to them, that may really not be a secret anymore. This problem is not going away, and it’s a condition of our existence.’’
The FBI and CIA have declined to comment.
If the documents’ are verified, authorities must then determine who had access to the documents.
WikiLeaks suggested the source was a former government employee or contractor.
“This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,’’ WikiLeaks said in announcing the first release of documents. “The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.’’