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Hacktivism — when activist groups like Anonymous use cyber disruption for political means — declined 95% between 2015 and 2018, according to a report by IBM.

Details: There are a variety of reasons for the decline, like governments impersonating activists and increased arrests.

  • Anonymous is in decline. The Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing, decentralized affiliation of hackers and trolls behind attacks on Pay Pal, Stratfor and others was a leading organization platform for political attacks. Anonymous' efforts have decreased, and no one has filled in the void.
  • Governments, including Russia, are impersonating activists, and that's made it harder to know the "real" activists.
  • There have been a ton of arrests, reducing the feeling of invulnerability.

Yes, but: IBM notes that attacks are up in 2019 — not up to 2015 levels, but up from 2018 — spurred in part by the arrest of Julian Assange and a campaign against Saudi targets.

Go deeper: Wireless insiders charged in phone-access scam

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Pundits react to a chaotic debate: “What a dark event we just witnessed”

The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday night was a shouting match, punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.

Why it matters: If Trump aimed to make the debate as chaotic as possible with a torrent of disruptions, he succeeded. Pundits struggled to make sense of what they saw, and it's tough to imagine that the American people were able to either.

Trump to far-right Proud Boys: "Stand back and stand by"

Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?