Back during John Brennan’s confirmation process, I noted he got zero questions about cybersecurity, in spite of the fact that that is a big part of the portfolio of the White House Homeland Security Czar (as has been made evident by Lisa Monaco’s central role in the Sony hack response).
Since then, John Brennan permitted his subordinates to hack the email accounts supposedly designated for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s designated use.
Those are both reasons you should be concerned by the news that — as part of a larger “subject matter” reorganization of CIA, Brennan wants to hack.
U.S. officials said Brennan’s plans call for increased use of cyber capabilities in almost every category of operations — whether identifying foreign officials to recruit as CIA informants, confirming the identities of targets of drone strikes or penetrating Internet-savvy adversaries such asthe Islamic State.
Several officials said that Brennan’s team has even considered creating a new cyber directorate — a step that would put the agency’s technology experts on equal footing with the operations and analysis branches that have been pillars of the CIA’s organizational structure for decades.
All the more so given that neither all of the Intelligence Committees nor NSA’s leadership knows what Brennan is up to.
Brennan provided only broad outlines of his plan in recent congressional meetings that excluded all but the four highest-ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence panels. A senior U.S. intelligence official said that some senior NSA executives remain in the dark on Brennan’s cyber ambitions.
But then, if all of SSCI knew what Brennan was up to, I guess it’d be harder for him to hack them in the future.