The US National Counterintelligence and Security Center in a recently released report equated 'public disclosure organisations' and hackers to Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and others. Placing all under the list of spy threats, the report claimed that these adversaries are using 'sophisticated methods to harm the United States.'
The report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence meticulously eluded from naming Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, however, accentuated on the risks from 'hacktivists, leaktivists, and public disclosure organizations'. "Foreign intelligence entities are conducting influence campaigns in the United States to undermine confidence in our democratic institutions and processes, sow divisions in our society, exert leverage over the United States and weaken our alliances," the report added.
Encompassing state and non-state fronts under one umbrella, the report said, "State adversaries such as Cuba, Iran, and North Korea; non-state actors such as Lebanese Hezbollah, ISIS, and al-Qa’ida; as well as, transnational criminal organizations and ideologically motivated entities such as hacktivists, leaktivists, and public disclosure organizations, also pose significant threats."
The counter-intel report, in addition, declared a potential threat from Russia and China saying, they are all "instrucments of national power to target the United States." Furthermore, categorised Iran, North Korea and Cuba as "significant threats" to the United States.
"Regional adversaries and ideologically motivated entities, such as hackers and public disclosure organizations, pose a growing threat to the United States," it reiterated. The agency, in an apparent reference to Julian Assange, claimed that “foreign nationals with no formal ties to foreign intelligence services" might "steal sensitive data and intellectual property" without detailing further.
Wikileaks, an anti-secrecy organisation, was founded in 2006 as a platform for whistleblowers to release classified information anonymously. By 2015, Wikileaks became a portal to publish over 10 million documents, including top-secret documents. Ever since its launch in 2006, Wikileaks has published thousands of classified documents, disclosing the details from national security, war, politics to the film industry. WikiLeaks had released Vault 7 in March 2017 which detailed the alleged "hacking arsenal" by the US intel agency CIA. Currently, Julian Assange faces extradition charges by the US for releasing secret documents divulging the country's war crimes and others.