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Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

A mistake in the way the CIA handled secure communications may have allowed China to identify and kill many of the agency's operatives in 2010, Foreign Policy's Zach Dorfman reports.

What happened: The CIA used a two-tier system to talk to its operatives that was supposed to be segmented so that someone who found access to one network couldn't access the other. But, in the colorful language of one FP intelligence source, the CIA "f---ed up the firewall."

What they're saying: "You could tell the Chinese weren’t guessing. The Ministry of State Security [which handles both foreign intelligence and domestic security] were always pulling in the right people," another official told FP.

The fallout: It's unclear how China obtained access to either side of the CIA's communications apparatus. But it appears China set up a task force to burrow into the communications networks to out spies.

Go deeper

Reddit traders look to pummel Wall Street's old guard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reddit traders are taking on Wall Street pros at their own game with this basic mantra: Stocks will always go up.

Why it matters: Their trades — egged on in Reddit threads — have played a role in historic market activity in recent days.

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.