Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves some FBI documents got leaked on a server by leakers who play video games.
On February 28, 2023 a teenage member began posting photographs showing classified FBI documents on a Discord server affiliated with the YouTuber “wow_mao.” Some of the documents offered detailed assessments of Ukraine’s defense capabilities and showed how far U.S. intelligence has tapped into Russia’s military command.
According to WaPo; Jack Teixeira was arrested last week and charged with illegally retaining and transmitting classified information on a server that he administered. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Teixeira has not entered a plea as of yet. The FBI has spoken to friends of Teixeira who hung out with him in the Discord server, known as Thug Shaker Central, according to people familiar with the investigation. The questions included how members of the server first came to know Teixeira, what video games they played together and whether any of the members were foreign nationals.
The FBI has been interviewing members of a private Discord server where a National Guardsman is alleged to have shared classified documents, an indication that law enforcement officials are trying to understand how potentially dozens of people may have had access to highly sensitive information before it circulated on the internet and was obtained by journalists.
Members of the private Discord group previously told other news outlets that foreign citizens, including from Russia and Ukraine, as well as Europe, Asia and South America, were among the roughly two dozen people who congregated on the server. Dream’s Chronicles Reloaded and other outlets has not confirmed the presence of users from these locations. Discord, which is a popular platform among online gamers, has said it is cooperating with the FBI’s investigation.
It wasn’t clear whether the FBI had determined that foreign nationals were in Teixeira’s server or whether any of them had connections to or worked for foreign governments. In at least one instance, the FBI has seized the electronic devices of a former member of the server, according to people familiar with the matter.
Two former members said additional accounts were part of the server, describing them as apparently inactive or “bots” that can be set up by Discord users to do things like play music. One former member of the server told law enforcement officials that Teixeira began sharing classified documents in December. But two others told The Post that he provided documents earlier than that, beginning around last summer. The classified documents appeared to be restricted to members of the server during that time. Former members said there was an unspoken rule not to share them beyond the small circle,and unbeknown to the group, on February 28, a teenage member began posting several dozen photographs showing classified documents on another Discord server affiliated with the YouTuber “wow_mao.” Some of the documents offered detailed assessments of Ukraine’s defense capabilities and showed how far U.S. intelligence has tapped into Russia’s military command.
Secret and top-secret documents were now available to thousands of Discord users, but the leak wouldn’t come to the attention of U.S. authorities for another month. March 4, 10 documents appeared on “Minecraft Earth Map,” a Discord server focused on the popular video game. A user operating the account that posted the smaller tranche of images told The Post they obtained them on wow_mao.
The Justice Department is unlikely to charge members of the server for viewing or sharing the classified information, based on past cases.
Credit: The Washington Post.