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The Hottest Online Game: Hunting for Classified Documents

WSJ – [free to read]  “The government secrets leaked on Discord have become fodder for users seeking fun and attention – “Videogame enthusiasts are scouring popular social-media platforms in the hope of finding classified U.S. military documents, turning the recent national-security crisis over leaked secrets into a global scavenger hunt. The competition pits online users eager to see secrets against the U.S. government, which wants to keep those secrets off the internet. At issue are a cache of sensitive military documents that the Justice Department alleges Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, posted on Discord, a platform that allows gamers to gather and communicate online. The documents first began showing up last year on a Discord group—known as a server—and remained unnoticed for months until some of them were reposted to other larger servers and platforms, eventually finding their way to the media, garnering public and U.S. government attention. Airman Teixeira has been charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. He hasn’t entered a plea.  The exact number of documents that ended up online is unclear, since many users scrubbed their profiles and deleted posts after the leaks became public. Prosecutors have indicated that there could be additional documents that haven’t yet publicly surfaced…”

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