On Tuesday Wikileaks unveiled thousands of documents named Vault 7 detailing the C.I.A's sophisticated tools and techniques used to spy on Americans. It appears if these documents are genuine, that the Central Intelligence Agency hacked into smartphones, smart TV sets, computers, and even car systems. For instance, the C.I.A allegedly found ways to listen in on conversations using smartphones and smart TV microphones.

The C.I.A's tools and programs used to spy on Americans

The leaked Wikileaks documents show the computer tools used to spy on Americans such as the online video service Skype, Wi-Fi networks, PDF formatted documents, and antivirus programs used by Americans to protect their computers from computer viruses and malware.

Then there are programs the C.I.A used such as the Wrecking Crew which taught how to crash a targeted computer. Another program taught how to steal passwords using the autocomplete feature on Internet Explorer. The spy agency was supposedly able to penetrate, infest, and control Android phones because of hidden flaws in Google's operating system. Linux was also vulnerable to hacks by the C.I.A by creating attack and control systems to go after their software. In other words, they can bypass any encryption on the many devices we use daily. So far there has been no official confirmation on the validity of the leaked treasure trove of documents.

Incredibly damaging revelations to the C.I.A

The ex-C.I.A director Michael Hayden, called the latest revelations by Wikileaks to be "an incredibly damaging leak in terms of the tactics,techniques,procedures, and tools that were used to conduct foreign intelligence." However, he conveniently failed to mention the fact that these techniques and tools could also be used to spy domestically on American citizens.

He also of course used the lame reasoning that this would somehow make our country and our allies less safe. The C.I.A's job is to steal secrets from others but now they have been embarrassed by the fact that their top secret methods for spying have been exposed. Now some critics feel that valuable intelligence may be lost because targets may now change their behavior and habits to avoid detection because of these newly revealed details.

The N.S.A. was also put under intense scrutiny when their methods of spying on Americans were revealed by Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. whistleblower. So far there are no reports on how that has affected the N.S.A.'s efforts to thwart credible threats.

Statements from Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft

Apple issued a statement claiming they addressed some of the vulnerabilities already.

Apple announced that many of the issues that were leaked have been fixed by the latest IOS update. They went on to proclaim that they are working to ensure that they rapidly address any other vulnerabilities that may come forward. They also urged customers to download the latest IOS update to have the most up-to-date security. Samsung issued their own statement saying, "We are aware of the report in question and are urgently looking into the matter." They then added. "Protecting consumer's privacy and the security of our devices is our top priority." Other leaks from Wikileaks exposed how the C.I.A used malware to target computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system. Microsoft replied to the news by simply saying they were aware of the report and looking into it.

Google and the Linux Foundation have yet to comment on this controversial story. The C.I.A has also refused to comment due to what they claim are national security concerns.