A new report accuses the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency of fomenting color revolutions around the world. Color revolutions refer to the anti-regime protest movements. Examples include the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran and the 2014 Maiden coup in Ukraine. These were CIA-backed coups.
These revolutions are stirred up by the CIA using cyber operations, says the report from China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and Chinese cybersecurity company 360. The CIA’s role in these operations was known but now the extent of it is better known.
How do they do it?
The CIA helps stir up protestor sentiment and then gives them tools to communicate and gather in ways their own governments can’t track. The report says that the U.S. State Department created an “anti-censorship” system in order for protestors to get around foreign governments’ regulations and that it had received more than $30 million on investment.
The CIA also uses what are called “zero-day” vulnerabilities to conduct espionage inside of other countries. Indeed, cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth reports in her book that the U.S. pays millions for these software vulnerabilities and often times the government pays multiple times for the same zero day because the various spy agencies don’t share them. They have been known to spy on Chinese smart TVs.
The report says that the rapid development of the internet offered the CIA a “new opportunity” for infiltration and they have exploited it to the max.
Of course, this report comes from China, and China is motivated to point this out. But much of what it says has been corroborated by American reports and reporters. In fact, the thing that set Edward Snowden searching for government spying was that he was asked to report on Chinese spy activities and he knew that if the U.S. was aware of these tools, it was most likely doing it too and more.