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The Man Who Speaks Softly—and Commands a Big Cyber Army

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As ever, the NSA often applied the brakes. The Snowden leaks had exposed many of its secret programs and capabilities, forcing the agency to painstakingly rebuild its exploits and infrastructure around the world. Now, Cyber Command risked revealing its surviving programs and new infrastructure. There were frequent debates about the trade-offs of using, and therefore […]

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A Poker Pro Accused of Cheating Wants $330M in Damages

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Mike Postle, a 42-year-old poker pro who has been widely accused of cheating on livestreamed games at a Sacramento casino, has never wavered in his claims of innocence. From the moment in late September 2019 when Veronica Brill, a fellow player, tweeted out her suspicion that Postle’s winning streak at Stones Gambling Hall was too […]

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The Cheating Scandal That Ripped the Poker World Apart

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Mike Postle was on another tear. The moonfaced 42-year-old was deep into a marathon poker session at Stones Gambling Hall, a boxy glass-and-steel casino wedged between Interstate 80 and a Popeye’s in suburban Sacramento. The September 21, 2019, game, which Stones was broadcasting to audiences via YouTube and Twitch, had attracted several top players to […]

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How We’ll Know the Election Wasn’t Rigged

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Late last October—before health officials in central China began racing to contain a mysterious outbreak of viral pneumonia, before DIY hand sanitizer tutorials flooded YouTube, before nearly 200,000 people in the US had died of Covid-19—legislators in Pennsylvania came together for a rare moment of bipartisan collaboration. For the first time since 1937, Republicans and […]

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One Data Scientist’s Quest to Quash Misinformation

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One day in early June 2018, Sara-Jayne Terp, a British data scientist, flew from her home in Oregon to Tampa, Florida, to take part in an exercise that the US military was hosting. On the anniversary of D-Day, the US Special Operations Command was gathering a bunch of experts and soldiers for a thought experiment: […]

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The Facebook Defectors Turning Trump’s Strategy Against Him

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Three months before Election Day, James Barnes teleconferenced into a strategy meeting about how, exactly, to persuade people not to vote for Donald Trump. The 32-year-old wore his hair loosely gathered in a man bun and had the sober expression of someone who, as a hazard of his occupation, thinks about the president nearly all […]

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The Furious Hunt for the MAGA Bomber

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Weird things happen in and around New York City nearly every day, so the appearance of a suspicious package at George Soros’ residence in Westchester County didn’t initially raise many eyebrows at the FBI‘s hulking New York field office. Late on the evening of Monday, October 22, 2018, the office received an alert known as […]

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Mark Warner Takes on Big Tech and Russian Spies

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In mid-November, as his House colleagues on Capitol Hill were consumed with questions about Ukraine and impeachment, Senator Mark Warner took to CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss what he saw as one of the most important problems facing the country: Fitbit. Or, more specifically, the danger of allowing Google to swallow up the personal fitness […]