By now, most of the world has heard about WikiLeaks’ massive data dump, “drama-queeningly” referred to as “Vault 7.” WikiLeaks’ latest antic is another chapter in the shady saga starring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Russian government, and possibly President Donald Trump. This is a dangerous game these actors may be playing out and everyone in this nation should be concerned.
Vault 7 seems almost perfectly timed. The accusations and revelations about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia were at a fever pitch up until about a day ago. Newly appointed Trump cabinet members and advisers, including Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Jeff Sessions weren’t able to recall or outright lied about meetings with Russian officials. Seventeen intelligence agencies say that Russia was involved in the hacking scandal that helped wrench the election away from Hillary Clinton.
And Trump, the master of deflection, tweets the outrageous allegation that Obama, himself, had wiretapped his phones at the Trump Tower building in New York City. Right after that lunacy, Vault7 hits. The WikiLeaks released documents revealed not much more than the Snowden/NSA scandal in 2013—that the government is capable of hacking into internet-connected devices.
Hey, guess what? They can also find out your location via your smartphone’s GPS!
The most interesting part of all this crazy is that whenever Trump seems about to finally go down in flames, WikiLeaks is right there. Like his damn State Farm agent.
I’ll never forget in summer of 2016, watching all the polls and analysts assured of a Clinton victory. I remember close to Election Day, a reporter asked Trump, who was trailing in almost all polls, something about him losing the election.
“Oh, I’m gonna win,” Trump declared and gave this hideous Cheshire cat grin. And then barely a week later, WikiLeaks published the hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee, and it started a frenzy of speculation about the Democrats and corruption and Clinton’s emails; much of the criticism unsubstantiated, but enough to cause the woman who was so close to becoming the first female POTUS to lose her significant lead in the polls, and ultimately, the election.
Here we go again. On the brink of what was shaping up to be the biggest political scandal since Watergate, WikiLeaks pulls out another massive data dump. The timing is suspect. The chumminess between Trump, Assange, and Putin is suspect.
The collusion between the triumvirate is more suspicious considering cybersecurity experts confirmed that Russia was behind the DNC hacks.
Think about how momentous and dangerous this all is. The American president, Vladimir Putin, and Julian Assange (who maintains asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy avoiding rape charges in Sweden) may be conspiring to undermine our democracy by telling the public that the legislative branch and the media are the enemies. Both are tasked with questioning the executive branch so that we never end up with a dictator as president.
And half the country believes that indeed the media, and agencies including the FBI and CIA, are the enemy of the average person. This is really scary stuff that would be so over-the-top it wouldn’t work as a screenplay for a movie. WikiLeaks originally positioned itself as a purveyor of the truth—if instead, it is in collusion to undermine democracy, it’s playing a very dangerous game with horrible consequences for us all.
Samara Lynn is a tech editor at Black Enterprise magazine. She has over a decade’s experience in technology journalism, covering smart home and wireless technology; startups; business tech and more. She has also written for PC Magazine, The Wirecutter, CRN Tech and has appeared as a technology commentator on Fox Business News, National Business Report, and Reuters TV. She is the author of “Windows Server 2012: Up and Running.” “Tech 100” is her column focusing on technology and its relation to politics, social issues, and more.