Are We Destined for a Trump Coup in 2024? — Ross Douthat at The New York Times.

Worries about a Republican coup in 2024 are reasonable, but doom-and-gloom pessimism is unreasonable, says Douthat. The GOP isn’t preparing for a coup, he says. The party’s attitude seems to be paying lip service to Trump and his supporters, throwing them a few bones, and outwaiting them.

Republican leaders say they support #StopTheSteal, but they’re doing nothing to advance the cause, and they’re not treating Biden as an illegitimate President or doing other things you’d expect if they were trying to foment an insurrection. Even the voter restrictions they’re putting in place on a state level are designed to head off claims of voter fraud.

Not said by Douthat: Yes, but the voter restrictions are unreasonable and disenfranchise likely Democratic voters.

… the key question is whether Trump and his allies will be able to consistently punish, not just a lightning rod like Raffensperger or the scattering of House Republicans who voted for impeachment, but the much larger number of G.O.P. officials who doomed the #StopTheSteal campaign through mere inaction — starting with Republican statehouse leaders in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Arizona and moving outward through the ranks from there.

Obsessing about a Republican coup could be counterproductive for Democrats, “whose immediate problem is a much more ordinary one: Its ideas and leaders in the last election cycle weren’t as popular as its activists imagined, and it’s therefore vulnerable not just to some future Trumpian chicanery but also to a relatively normal sort of repudiation, in which the democratic process works relatively smoothly — and rewards Republicans instead.”

DOJ Charges Criminal ‘Influencers’ Who Worked for FBI’s Honeypot Phone Company — Joseph Cox at Vice

The FBI set up a company to build phones that ran a messaging app called Anom, used to eavesdrop on criminals, and now it’s arresting people who worked for the company.

“The defendants, some of which are international fugitives, include people in Turkey, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Colombia, and Thailand. The DOJ is charging them under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a law traditionally used to target mafia bosses, but which the DOJ has recently used to prosecute encrypted phone companies that deliberately sold devices to criminals.”

There’s a whole underground tech industry out there, with tech support and “influencers” — well-known crime figures with reputations for knowledge and expertise in hardened encryption devices.

“‘Distributors’ provide technical support for customers, send money back up to the parent company, and manage ‘agents,’ who in turn are on the ground meeting and engaging with customers of the phones. These staff all remained anonymous even to one another in order to try and evade law enforcement, the document reads.

We’ve seen something like this before, with ransomware organizations that run help desks to support technically unsophisticated victims. Supposedly the help desk operators are friendly and helpful.

“Who is the silly sausage that enabled edits. The internet was a mistake. Excited to announce my new job as editor at the Verge.”

Fastly outage: Verge reported via Google Docs but forgot to make it private – Metro.co.uk

When a massive Internet outage took down The Verge, and many other sites, the publication set up a public Google Doc to report on the problem. But they mistakenly let anybody edit the doc.

The resulting vandalism was surprisingly good-natured.