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US arrests gamer over Ukraine security leaks

by on14 April 2023

It was a good idea to give a 21-year-old gamer a high-level security clearance

The US has identified and arrested the leader of a small online gaming chat group where a trove of classified US intelligence documents leaked over the last few months.

Jack Teixeira, oversaw a private online group called Thug Shaker Central where a small group of came together to share their love of guns, racist online memes and video games.

It looks like a digital trail has pointed to Teixeira uploading hundreds of pages of intelligence briefings into the small chat group.

Members of Thug Shaker Central who spoke to The Times said that the documents they discussed online were meant to be purely informative. While many pertained to the war in Ukraine, the members said they took no side in the conflict.

The documents, they said, started to get wider attention only when one of the teenage members of the group took a few dozen of them and posted them to a public online forum. From there, they were picked up by Russian-language Telegram channels and The Times, which first reported on them.

The person who leaked, they said, was no whistle-blower, and the secret documents were never meant to leave their small corner of the internet.

Meanwhile, the incident has given the US military some problems. Not only is it an embarrassing international incident, but it is staggering when someone as low level as Teixeira had access to material that was so far above his pay grade.


Last modified on 14 April 2023
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