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Spilling Silicon Valley's Secrets, One Tweet at a Time

By MIT Technology Review

April 25, 2022

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Shortly after midnight on May 4, 2018, Jane Manchun Wong tweeted her first "finding" ever. "Twitter is working on End-to-End Encrypted Secret DM!" she wrote.

A young woman of color, then just 23, exposing the plans of a Big Tech firm without any tools apart from her own ability to reverse-engineer code was (and is) pretty radical—and it's changed the way tech companies work.

The tweet was the first of many that Wong would send out. By going into public source code for companies like Twitter, Facebook, and more, she has been able to find out what features and projects companies are secretly working on before they announce it. She takes the information she finds, tweets it out with a screenshot of the mocked-up feature, and watches the internet do its thing.

Wong, 27, has a preternatural ability to crack difficult code—along with a sizable Twitter following that includes some of the biggest names in tech and journalism. As she gets into the back end of websites' code to see what software engineers are tinkering with, they await her discoveries with interest.

From MIT Technology Review
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