“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America,” said James Comey, director of United States Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday. His comments came soon after the Wikileaks released documents claiming to have exposed the Central Intelligence Agency’s “global covert hacking program”.

Stating that there was no place outside of the US’ judicial reach, Comey said “even our memories” were not private in America. “Our communications with our spouses, with our clergy members, with our attorneys are not absolutely private in America,” he said, adding that a judge has the right to compel anyone to testify about those private conversations.

Comey said however the government cannot invade into anybody’s privacy without a “good reason reviewable in court”. “We all value privacy. We all value security. We should never have to sacrifice one for the other,” he said.

The FBI had recovered as many as 2,800 devices in criminal, terrorism and counterintelligence investigations, Comey said, adding that the agency was unable to open about 43% of those devices.

Wikileaks’ Vault 7 shares information on the CIA’s “malware arsenal” and “weaponised exploits”. The first set of documents reveal that the CIA targeted products of US and European companies, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows and Samsung smart TVs, and turned them into covert microphones or bugs to spy on people.