Jeff Kao

Computational Journalist

Photo of Jeff Kao

Jeff Kao is a computational journalist at ProPublica who uses data science to cover technology. His project on videos posted to Parler during the Capitol riots was cited as evidence throughout former President Trump’s second impeachment hearing. His collaboration with the New York Times on Chinese government censorship of the coronavirus outbreak was a part of their winning entry for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Kao previously worked as a machine learning engineer at Atrium LTS, where he developed natural language processing systems for legal services. He holds a law degree from Columbia Law School, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Waterloo.

The Trade Secret: Firms That Promised High-Tech Ransomware Solutions Almost Always Just Pay the Hackers

As ransomware attacks crippled businesses and law enforcement agencies, two U.S. data recovery firms claimed to offer an ethical way out. Instead, they typically paid the ransom and charged victims extra.

We’re Reporting on Ransomware. Do You Know Something About an Attack?

Has your organization been hit by ransomware? Did you hire a data recovery firm? Do you know how an attack works from the inside? We’d like to hear from you.

Georgia Officials Quietly Patched Security Holes They Said Didn’t Exist

A ProPublica analysis found that the state was busily fixing problems in its voter registration hours after the office of Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor, had insisted the system was secure.

File-Sharing Software on State Election Servers Could Expose Them to Intruders

A ProPublica analysis found election computer servers in Wisconsin and Kentucky could be susceptible to hacking. Wisconsin shut down its service in response to our inquiries.

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