The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge

Joshua Schulte was once employed making cyberweapons for the CIA. Feeling wronged by the agency after a dispute with a colleague, he allegedly retaliated by releasing troves of secret data on WikiLeaks, exposing US hacking methods and assets. When the FBI investigated him, they discovered that Schulte had some deep dark secrets of his own.

On March 7, 2017, the Web site WikiLeaks launched a series of disclosures that were catastrophic for the C.I.A. As much as thirty-four terabytes of data—more than two billion pages’ worth—had been stolen from the agency. The trove, billed as Vault 7, represented the single largest leak of classified information in the agency’s history. Along with a subsequent installment known as Vault 8, it exposed the C.I.A.’s hacking methods, including the tools that had been developed in secret by the O.S.B., complete with some of the source code.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jun 6, 2022
Length: 44 minutes (11,064 words)

The Bank Robber

A computer technician steals client data from a Swiss bank revealing the pervasive problem of tax evasion committed by the global elite. His motives don’t appear to be purely altruistic.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: May 26, 2016
Length: 40 minutes (10,236 words)

The Avenger

Ken Dornstein’s brother David was killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, and he’s spent most of his life searching for the truth.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 21, 2015
Length: 41 minutes (10,307 words)

The Hunt for El Chapo

How the notorious leader of the Sinoloa Drug Cartel was captured:

At eleven-forty-two that morning, Peña Nieto announced the capture on Twitter: “I acknowledge the work of the security agencies of the Mexican state in pulling off the apprehension of Joaquín Guzmán Loera in Mazatlán.” U.S. officials had already leaked the news to the Associated Press, but Peña Nieto wanted to be certain that his troops had the right man. In the summer of 2012, Mexican authorities announced that they had captured Guzmán’s son Alfredo, and held a press conference in which they paraded before the cameras a sullen, pudgy young man in a red polo shirt. A lawyer representing the man then revealed that he was not Guzmán’s son but a local car dealer named Félix Beltrán. Guzmán’s family chimed in, with barely suppressed glee, that the young man in custody was not Alfredo. In another recent case, officials in Michoacán announced that they had killed the infamous kingpin Nazario Moreno, a triumph that was somewhat undercut by the fact that Moreno—who was known as El Más Loco, or the Craziest One—had supposedly perished in a showdown with government forces in 2010. (D.E.A. agents now joke that El Más Loco is the only Mexican kingpin to have died twice.)

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Apr 28, 2014
Length: 39 minutes (9,825 words)

Buzzkill

Making marijuana legal is harder than it might look. Radden Keefe goes inside Washington State’s legalization efforts, and what the new laws mean for growers, sellers, consumers and police:

Officials in Washington had been expecting a peace dividend, yet Kleiman was calling for a crackdown. It was the kind of logical argument that nobody wants to hear. Not even law enforcement: to a narcotics detective, pot legalization can feel like an existential affront. As if to deepen the insult, tax revenue from the sale of legal cannabis will be devoted to substance-abuse prevention and research—not to police or prosecutors. Who, then, was going to pay for such a crackdown? Although Kleiman urged state officials to set aside funds for increased law enforcement, he can get impatient with such complaints. He likes to say, “You don’t get any of the revenue for arrestingrobbers, either.”

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Nov 22, 2013

Cocaine Incorporated

How Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, became a global, multibillion-dollar drug trafficking business:

“Known as El Chapo for his short, stocky frame, Guzmán is 55, which in narco-years is about 150. He is a quasi-mythical figure in Mexico, the subject of countless ballads, who has outlived enemies and accomplices alike, defying the implicit bargain of a life in the drug trade: that careers are glittering but brief and always terminate in prison or the grave. When Pablo Escobar was Chapo’s age, he had been dead for more than a decade. In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chapo sells more drugs today than Escobar did at the height of his career. To some extent, this success is easily explained: as Hillary Clinton acknowledged several years ago, America’s ‘insatiable demand for illegal drugs’ is what drives the clandestine industry. It’s no accident that the world’s biggest supplier of narcotics and the world’s biggest consumer of narcotics just happen to be neighbors. ‘Poor Mexico,’ its former president Porfirio Díaz is said to have remarked. ‘So far from God and so close to the United States.'”

Published: Jun 15, 2012
Length: 31 minutes (7,815 words)

The Snakehead

The criminal odyssey of Chinatown’s Sister Ping.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Apr 24, 2006
Length: 32 minutes (8,098 words)