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Backstory: How Reuters discovered Beto O & Rourkes teenage days



(Reuters) – Reuters reporter Joseph Menn revealed on Friday exclusively that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke was one of the most prominent groups of computer hackers as a teenager.

Within minutes, his special report here on Reuters.com was the most popular story and was picked up by other news agencies. However, the origin of the story goes back more than two years.

Members of the group calling themselves the Cult of the Dead Cow for decades protected O Rourke's secret and were reluctant to jeopardize the political life of the former Texas Congressman.

After more than a year of reporting, Menn persuaded O Rourke to speak on the record. In late 201

7, O Rourke admitted in an interview that he was a member of the group. The information was only released after his Senate race against Ted Cruz in November 2018.

In an interview with Jane Lee, Senior Producer at Reuters, explains how he broke the story and got O & # 39; Rourke to open up about his hacker days.

"I decided to write a book about the dead cow cult because they were the most interesting and influential hacking group in history. They illustrated many of the things that fascinate me about hacking and security work.

"While investigating the cult of the dead cow, I found out that they had a member who was in Congress. I did not know which. But I knew that they had a member of the congress.

"And then I found out what it was about. And the members of the group would not talk to me who it was. They would not confirm that it was this person, unless I had promised that I would write about it after the elections in November. That's because the member of the Congress has opted for the Senate. Beto O & Rourke is who it was.

The Democratic presidential candidate of 2020, Beto O & Rourke, 46, speaks during a three-day road trip through Iowa in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, on March 15, 2019, with the followers O & Rourke Ich said: "I am writing a book about the cult of the dead cow, I find it very interesting, I know you were in this group, this book will be released after November and your Senate race is over, and he said," OK. "

"And he told me about his time in The Dead Cow Cult."

Menn explains more about the story on Twitter: @josephmenn twitter.com/josephmenn [19659013] Jane Lee's report in San Francisco ; Editing by Bill Rigby and Ben Kellerman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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