This comes on the heels of the OPM hack, Hillary Clinton’s private server scandal, and other cyber breaches. It’s becoming embarrassingly clear that the U.S. is dropping the ball on cyber security—and that many senior government officials have no idea how to keep information safe in the digital age. What, in 2015, is the director of a U.S. intelligence agency doing using an unsecured AOL account to discuss agency business? Even if, as some reports suggest, all of the information winds up being technically unclassified, you have to figure that some of this will be useful to foreign intelligence agencies. And access to anyone’s personal information, much less that of the head of the CIA, can be deeply damaging stuff in the 21st century.
This news also continues to fill in a picture of WikiLeaks and related figures such as Edward Snowden that’s troubling. Whatever the agenda of Assange, Snowden, and company is, civic-minded reform of the United States government is no longer it (if it ever was). This will give further credence to those, such as former NSA official John Schindler (a.k.a. @20committee) who accuse WikiLeaks, with some evidence, of being a Russian intel outfit. At a minimum, we’re dealing with useful idiots, with an anti-U.S. agenda, who don’t care about collateral damage.