, 11 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Fresh U.S presidential candidate @BetoORourke was a member of the country’s oldest hacking group, which has kept his role a secret for decades – until now. My story is up on Reuters at reuters.com/investigates/s…, but let me say a little more in this thread. (1/10)
O’Rourke wasn't just a random hacker who stole long-distance service to reach bulletin boards, where tech-savvy people hung out online before the Web. As a teen, he also belonged to the notorious and wildly influential Cult of the Dead Cow reut.rs/2DvWzuT (2/10)
The revelation makes O’Rourke the most prominent ex-hacker in American political history. It also fits: he was already known for being rebel enough to tour in a punk band, to unseat a Congressman from his own Democratic party, and to support gun control in Texas. (3/10)
#CultoftheDeadCow burst onto the national scene as the biggest exemplar of hacker culture in 1998, at Def Con, when the group released Back Orifice, which let almost anyone take control of someone else’s computer. reut.rs/2E4jsqG (4/10)
The group released a more sophisticated version the following year, forcing #Microsoft to get serious about security. And cDc coined the term “hacktivism,” to describe politically motivated hacking, with Chinese censorship as the cDc’s first target. reut.rs/2DHMLhx (5/10)
Two years ago, I started working on a book about the Cult of the Dead Cow and its members’ pioneering work in hacking and security, which continues to this day. I soon learned there was a sitting Congressman who had been in the group. publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/joseph-… (6/10)
Then I saw stories on @BetoORourke, who had started running in the Senate primary in Texas to face off against @tedcruz. Looking at where he was from, and his history and style, I guessed he was the one. My sources in the cDc didn’t confirm it, but they didn’t deny it. (7/10)
No one in cDc would talk about O’Rourke until I promised not to publish before the 2018 election. That was OK: I wanted the full story for my book, which spans decades, rather than 1 scoop ahead of a state vote. I offered O’Rourke the same terms. He accepted, and we spoke. (8/10)
No one thought he would lose the Senate race & immediately enter onto an even bigger stage, but here we are, and the embargo is up. The book is out soon, O’Rourke is running for president, and people should hear the missing part of his story. reuters.com/news/picture/b… (9/10)
There is much, much more to the Cult of the Dead Cow. Beto is just the beginning. Read the book and you'll see. (10/10)
O'Rourke to reporters including Reuters' @jamesoliphant in Iowa: His Cult of the Dead Cow writings are "stuff I was part of as a teenager. Not anything I am proud of today...I can't control anything that I've done in the past. I can just control what I do going forward." (11/10)
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Joseph Menn
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!