Most sites which are devoted to leaking classified materials such as Wikileaks and The Intercept are of the opinion that for a claim to be accepted as truthful, it must be an original source document from a government employee. In addition, for the most part, the intercept in particular has a tendency to focus upon the United States, something which is perhaps understandable to some extent.
This approach does have its limitations however.
Governments would naturally regard a reliance by leakers upon original source documents as a weakness which can be exploited (much as the CIA presumably did when wikileaks asked people to apply to that organisation as potential infiltrators). They will anticipate the fact that there are leakers by providing “official documents” which are either at variance with the truth as was the case with the zinoviev letter or which are “leaked” in order to conceal even worse stories.
It’s called disinformation.
With regard to the latter, one example would be the disinformation with regard to Michael Flynn and the Cambridge Intelligence Seminars. Another example would be a recent story on the intercept (which I shall not discuss for the moment) which pertains to human systems of surveillance. With regard to the former, a classic example is the double-cross system in WWII whereby the Germans relied upon official sources.
Furthermore, there has not been a leak of the scale of Snowden since Snowden. What was revealed in Vault 7, without meaning to sound disrespectful to Wikileaks, was bound to exist in that it revealed examples of what Snowden had already revealed. It makes sense to presume at the outset that western intelligence agencies have access to all computer systems (given the hacking of the latest version of my tails-OS and OSX installations) rather than being surprised at any big revelation revelation that they do.
There is a better alternative which exists in certain cases to leaking information. This to use the scientific method and to analyse in a logical manner what already exists, which in the case of human forms of surveillance is mostly governmental disinformation rather than original source documents, and to form a conclusion as to the existence of such systems. Such an approach, although this not with regard to intelligence related matters, seemed to work with Charles Darwin and his discovery of evolution. It also appears to work for Sherlock Holmes and other fictional detectives.
It is possible to conclude that a modern form of COINTELPRO is in operation on the basis of the governmental disinformation (which can be classified as original source documents to some extent) and to leak on that basis. In the absence of anyone being able to point out flaws in the analysis, the conclusion reached would appear to be true.
I’d love it if someone were to say “This is wrong because…” and to be able to debate the matter but strangely no-one seems to be able to
On a general level with regard to analysis of intelligence related matters, it should be taken into consideration that revelations concerning human forms of surveillance are of greater importance than revelations concerning electronic systems of surveillance given that the former would appear to be as extensive as and form the basis of the later.