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Mark Warner’s Anti-TikTok Algorithm

Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and seasoned veteran on issues of national security.
Virginia Senator Mark Warner, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and seasoned veteran on issues of national security. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Julia Ioffe
April 11, 2023

Over the holiday weekend, The New York Times reported that a tranche of highly sensitive U.S. intelligence documents had been leaked. Photographs of the folded-up pages—many of them from classified briefings for the Joint Chiefs—began popping up on Telegram and Twitter. Upon further investigation, it turned out that some of these images had appeared even earlier, as far back as January, on gaming sites dedicated to Fortnite and fringe message boards like 4chan. 

The documents themselves are proving to be a nightmare not just for the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community, but for America’s friends and allies. They’ve revealed some of our most tightly-held secrets about how American spy agencies gather intelligence—from secret satellite systems like LAPIS, to now potentially compromised human sources—as well as the uncomfortable (but extremely obvious) fact that Washington spies even on those in its corner. Ironically, the documents also paint the U.S. intelligence community in a very flattering light. After the embarrassing disasters of 2003 and the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it is wild to see how deeply American espionage has penetrated the military and security services of Russia, which is one of the hardest places in the world for our spies to operate in.