Want money for what you know? CIA offers rewards for valuable intelligence

By Caravanserai and AFP

This video shows fictionalised Russians making the difficult but important decision to secretly contact the CIA. [CIA/Telegram]

WASHINGTON -- The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is bolstering efforts to convince Russians to leak their country's secrets via encrypted communication in exchange for substantial cash rewards.

In a video posted Monday (May 15) on the CIA's new Telegram channel (, the agency aims to inspire a response from people frustrated with the situation under President Vladimir Putin.

The short video depicts a Russian bureaucrat and a woman at home with a child, both apparently troubled by their circumstances and wondering if their lives are what they dreamed of.

It suggests that people can take action to make things better -- providing information to the US intelligence agency -- and still be patriotic Russians.

A still from a recently released CIA video on Telegram.

A still from a recently released CIA video on Telegram.

The video and an accompanying text provide instructions on how to do so, using a Tor browser to access the dark web and encryption tools the CIA says will ensure their protection.

How to contact the CIA can be seen here on Telegram or you can download the Tor browser here and put in the following address:


The Truth

"The CIA wants to know the truth about Russia, and we are looking for reliable people who can tell us this truth," the agency wrote on Telegram.

"Your information may be more valuable than you think."

The CIA urges people with backgrounds or contacts in intelligence, diplomacy, science and technology, as well as other fields, to reach out. The agency is interested in all kinds of information, including about political leaders and the economy.

The CIA hopes that providing a simple but clear way to leak information via the dark web will convince cautious Russians to take the next step.

"Our aim is to provide avenues that are as secure as possible for them to contact us," an agency official told AFP on grounds of anonymity.

The official stressed the United States was not seeking to provoke a revolt or regime change, but is hoping that some Russians might see it as a way to help their country move forward.

Similar outreach on other social media, much of it blocked now in Russia, did produce results, the official added.

"Contact us," the CIA urged. "Perhaps the people around you don't want the truth. We want it."

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