: New: Book Report: Catch and Kill

Content Warning: Rape, Abuse, Stalking, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Woody Allen, Donald Trump, etc.

This is the autobiography of one reporter working on exposing Harvey Weinstein, serial rapist movie mogul. I knew the outline of Weinstein's story, thanks to this reporter and others. But I didn't the story of the reporting. I was braced for recounting of rape, abuse, and stalking. I wasn't braced for something less-serious but closer to home: information security pros using their skills and tools to shield a serial rapist from facing consequences.

As the reporter met with sources, occasionally his phone would display strange messages. In hindsight, we know that those messages were hacking the phone. In theory, that phone-hacking tool was only available to government agencies. In practice, a private security company run by ex-Mossad folks kept access to the tool; and kept serial rapist Harvey Weinstein as a client. So these detectives hacked reporters' phones, effectively bugging the reporters. And then the detectives passed information along to Weinstein. And thus Weinstein harassed and threatened these sources after they met with reporters secretly-but-not-secretly-enough.

I'm glad that Apple has a bug bounty system now. If some hacker figures out a new way to break iPhone security, it would be good if they could sell their work to an organization that might fix it to protect customers. It would be good if the hackers' only choice wasn't to sell to…

Ugh, enough. I learned things from this book and I'm ready to be done with it.

Tags: book brutal truth entertainment industry