Thursday, 16 July 2020 10:52

Trump let CIA off the hook in 2018: report

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Trump let CIA off the hook in 2018: report Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

The US Central Intelligence Agency was given a sweeping authorisation to conduct covert cyber operations in 2018 by US President Donald Trump, and since then has hit Iran and other targets, a report claims.

In an exclusive report, Yahoo! News quoted former American officials with direct knowledge of the matter as saying the authorisation, known as a presidential finding, let the CIA off the hook, giving the agcnecy freedom in choosing both the type of operations and who was to be targeted.

Reporters Zach Dorfman, Kim Zetter, Jenna McLaughlin and Sean Naylor wrote that unlike previous president findings that were aimed at a specific foreign policy goal, this directive, pushed by the US National Security Council and designed by the CIA was broad and took in covert action in cyberspace.

The finding gave the spy agency authority to attack Russia, North Korea, Iran and China among others.

The report said it also lessened the evidence needed by the CIA to justify an attack.

“Before, you would need years of signals and dozens of pages of intelligence to show that this thing is a de facto arm of the government,” a former official told Yahoo! News. Now, “as long as you can show that it vaguely looks like the charity is working on behalf of that government, then you’re good.”


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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