from The Wall Street Journal

A Global Scavenger Hunt for Classified Documents Pits Gamers vs. U.S.

The government secrets leaked on Discord have become fodder for users seeking fun and attention

By Jessica Donati

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.

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