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eBay and the Deliveries You Never Wanted

A package showing up on your doorstep normally gives you a little hit of excitement. But for one Massachusetts couple last year, the arrival of each new package triggered feelings of anxiety and dread. This week on Gadget Lab, we talk about the cyberstalking campaign that six former eBay employees allegedly launched against the married owners of a news website that’s often critical of the ecommerce industry. It’s a twisted tale featuring shipments of live roaches, a pig’s head mask, unwanted pornography, and a whole lot of bad feelings. WIRED’s own Brian Barrett joins us for the first half of the show to tell us about all the terrible antics the former eBayers have been charged with carrying out.

Later in the episode, we’re joined by WIRED’s Lily Hay Newman to discuss a new, previously unknown Russian internet group that’s been spreading disinformation online. Secondary Infektion, as the group is known, has for years been trying to disrupt elections, sow discord among European nations, and spread nationalist Russian propaganda using thousands of temporary social media accounts. A new report from researchers at Graphika outlines the group’s activities.

Show Notes

Brian Barrett’s story about the alleged eBay harassment scandal is here. Also read Lily on Grafika’s report about Secondary Infektion.

Recommendations

Lily recommends not keeping your tattoos and clothing logos hidden during public protests. Brian recommends Alabama Booksmith, which sells signed first editions of books. Mike recommends the Black Lives collection streaming for free on the Criterion Channel. Lauren recommends Duolingo for learning new languages.

Brain Barrett can be found on Twitter @BrBarrett. Lily is @lilyhnewman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Mike is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

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