US prosecutors investigate leak of CIA materials to WikiLeaks: sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Wikileaks website logo displayed on smartphone in Tokyo

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, have expanded a long-running grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks to include the leak of Central Intelligence Agency documents to the website, said a source familiar with the investigation.

The source, who is familiar with the investigation and requested anonymity to discuss confidential information, said the investigation focuses on who leaked descriptions and technical information about techniques and tools that the CIA has used to spy on intelligence targets on the website.

US agencies have only made vague public comments about the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, but security and law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said in the wake of the leaks that it focuses on whether an intelligence contractor was responsible. At this point, they said, investigators do not believe that Russia or another foreign government was involved.

US officials have confirmed that Alexandria-based prosecutors have been conducting a federal grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its sources. Some court documents on elements of the investigation have been made public.

The US Department of Justice declined to comment, as did a CIA spokesman, who has not publicly confirmed the authenticity of the material released by WikiLeaks.

The website said the material it posted included thousands of pages of internal CIA discussions of hacking techniques and the use of popular products such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 iPhones; Google Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 Android devices; and Samsung Electronics (KS 🙂 televisions to spy on people.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his website would provide tech companies with access to the CIA hacking tools he acquired, allowing companies to patch vulnerabilities in the software.

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