Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Dumbest Headline Possible X 3

Yesterday CNN decided not to cover the Wikileaks dump of CIA Vault 7 documents. But they did run this.

Let me explain 3 different ways it's the dumbest headline possible, in light of not covering the CIA leaks.
  1. On the day that we learned the CIA has a massive cyber arsenal that can eavesdrop on nearly any device, CNN reminds us (indirectly through the mouth of the Ukranian PM, of course) that we face a dire cyber threat from Russia. That is something like walking in the woods and being mauled by a mountain lion and having a CNN reporter stroll up and say, "Hey man be on the lookout for bears. They're really dangerous."
  2. The CIA lost control of the tools. The reason this happened is because the CIA isn't authorized to use them the way they want. They aren't supposed to be spying domestically. So they hire contractors who then hire sub-contractors who sign contracts containing no illegal requirements, but which are passed over with a wink and a nudge. The CIA can't give those unvetted civilians classified cyber weapons, so they were simply declassified. Because they lost control of the tools, anyone could have them. Now you're walking in the woods but every squirrel, bluebird, and chipmunk is potentially as dangerous as a mountain lion.
  3. The leaks also showed that the CIA keep a library of foreign malware for the purposes of disguising their operations as those of foreign actors, including Russian tools. The fact that Wikileaks just cast serious doubt that any evidence of Russian hacking was valid didn't deter CNN from going with the narrative of Russian cyber terror.
To be fair CNN did finally pick up the story. Here is their headline today.

They're toeing the establishment party line of "it doesn't matter what was leaked, only who leaked and how they should be punished." But at least it's an improvement over running the headline that was the dumbest possible headline for three different reasons.

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