CIA Admits to Hacking Senate Computers

CIA Director John Brennan arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 12, 2013, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.

Susan Walsh/AP

AA Font size + Print

CIA Director John Brennan arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 12, 2013, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.

In a sharp and sudden reversal, the CIA acknowledged it improperly tapped into the computers of Senate staffers reviewing Bush-era torture practices. By Dustin Volz

The Central Intelligence Agency improperly and covertly hacked into computers used by Senate staffers to investigate the spy agency’s Bush-era interrogation practices, according to an internal investigation.

CIA Director John Brennan said that employees “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” brokered between the CIA and its Senate overseers, according to CIA spokesman Dean Boyd.

The stunning admission follows a scathing, 40-minute speech Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein gave from the Senate floor back in March, in which she accused the CIA of covertly removing key documents from her panel’s computers during its review of the government’s torture, detention and rendition policies during the Bush presidency. Feinstein lacerated the CIA and charged them with possibly violating the Constitution.

At the time, Brennan denied Feinstein’s accusations, telling NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell that “the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers … [are] beyond the scope of reason.”

But after being briefed on the inspector general’s findings, Brennan “apologized” to both Feinstein and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, for the actions of his officers.

Brennan has submitted the inspector general’s findings to an accountability board led by retired Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, according to Boyd. Bayh, an Indiana Republican, once served on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download
  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Top 5 Findings: Security of Internet of Things To Be Mission-Critical

    As federal agencies increasingly leverage these capabilities, government security stakeholders now must manage and secure a growing number of devices, including those being used remotely at the “edge” of networks in a variety of locations. With such security concerns in mind, Government Business Council undertook an indepth research study of federal government leaders in January 2017. Here are five of the key takeaways below which, taken together, paint a portrait of a government that is increasingly cognizant and concerned for the future security of IoT.

    Download
  • Coordinating Incident Response on Posts, Camps and Stations

    Effective incident response on posts, camps, and stations is an increasingly complex challenge. An effective response calls for seamless conversations between multiple stakeholders on the base and beyond its borders with civilian law enforcement and emergency services personnel. This whitepaper discusses what a modern dispatch solution looks like -- one that brings together diverse channels and media, simplifies the dispatch environment and addresses technical integration challenges to ensure next generation safety and response on Department of Defense posts, camps and stations.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.