Sunday, 19 August, 2018

High-secret Australian govt information 'bought at second-hand store'

Someone Left A Bunch Of Government Secrets In A Filing Cabinet And Now You Can Read Them Second-hand store find unveils top-secret Australian documents
Mandy Jefferson | 01 February, 2018, 00:41

The ABC said that the files were in locked cabinets purchased at a shop selling ex-government furniture. The ABC didn't reveal how it received the documents. They were sold off cheaply because they were heavy and no-one could find the keys. The documents lost by the AFP were from the cabinet's national security committee, which controls Australia's security, intelligence and defence agenda as well as deploying the military.

The Australian government has launched an "urgent investigation" after hundreds of classified files were accidentally sold and obtained by the media.

Yesterday it was revealed that someone bought two locked filing cabinets from a second-hand store in Canberra, only to later find they contained "thousands of pages" of highly classified cabinet documents spanning five governments and almost a decade.

The ABC has not said when the documents were found.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp, which released details of the documents on Wednesday (Jan 31), a "nifty person drilled the locks and uncovered the trove of documents inside". The documents reported this week were said to delve into the workings of five previous governments over the last decade.

Abbott was replaced in 2015 by the current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"Journalism like this relies on courageous confidential sources and we'll protect their privacy at all costs".

On the talking whale
They eat marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, and even whales, and are known to grab seals right off the ice. Researchers have taught an orca , also known as a killer whale, to imitate human speech sounds.


What did the files contain?

The papers also included a document that stated 195 top-secret codeword-protected and sensitive documents had been left in the office of former Labor government minister Penny Wong when Labor lost the 2013 election.

On Wednesday, following the ABC's report about its source, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet announced it would.

Under Australian law, the Cabinet records would have become public only after at least 20 years had passed.

"I would also like NSC to consider whether amendments should be made to a suspect's right to remain silent to allow a court to draw adverse inferences in a terrorism trial where an accused relies on evidence which he or she failed to mention when questioned by police", then-Attorney General Philip Ruddock wrote at the time.

Rory Medcalf, head of the Australian National University's National Security College, described the discarded documents as "very weird and embarrassing" from a national security and political perspective.

"This is not catastrophically damaging for national security in the sense that that something like the Snowden revelations must have been", he added, referring to the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosing a cache of classified material in 2013.

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