The Central Intelligence Agency has expanded its covert online operations since 2018, when President Trump signed a secret order granting sweeping authorization for such activities, according to a report from Yahoo News. The presidential order has allowed the CIA to more readily authorize its own cyberoperations instead of requiring White House approval. A former U.S. government official said the order “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries.”
The CIA has used its new power to create disruption in adversarial countries like Iran and Russia. It allows the agency to engage in WikiLeaks-like hack-and-dump operations, and cause damage to infrastructure like petrochemical plants and banks. “Our government is basically turning into fucking WikiLeaks,” a former U.S. official said. The finding also reduces the burden of proof for taking action.