Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Australia spy agency takes possession of secret files left at second-hand shop

TommL via Getty Images TommL via Getty Images
Lillian Steele | 03 February, 2018, 01:43

Australian security intelligence officers have secured thousands of top secret documents found in two filing cabinets sold at a second-hand store.

According to the report, the documents cover five separate governments over the past decade and many of them are labelled "top secret" or "AUSTEO" (meaning for Australian eyes only).

One discovery, for example, was that "former Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government had considered denying welfare to people under 30", the BBC reported.

ABC, which is state-owned but operates independently, said it had chosen not to report some documents on national security grounds.

Media organisations argued the new legislation would make publishing and reporting on such documents illegal.

After news of the massive security breach broke, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet provided no more details, releasing a statement saying only that it's looking into "the circumstances around the disposal of two Commonwealth Government filing cabinets that allegedly contained classified material".

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.

Australian Cabinet documents are usually kept classified for 20 years, before being made public in redacted form. Reporters working on the piece said they've withheld documents if the information they held had already been made public, to protect the privacy of public servants, or if they deemed the content of the document posed a threat to national security.

The documents span the administrations of four prime ministers, the last being Tony Abbott, who was succeeded by current Prime Minister Malcolm Trumbull.

The drawers were locked shut and came without their respective keys - pretty useless to the casual observer, but they were purchased nonetheless.

Tony Abbott's government meant to ban anyone under 30 from accessing income support.

They were eventually bought and left unopened until the purchaser used a drill to break off the locks. But that furniture isn't usually packed with almost a decade's worth of documents from five government administrations.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on Wednesday announced an urgent investigation into the leak.

They were obtained by the ABC after being found in a locked filing cabinet sold at an auction of ex-government furniture in Canberra.

In an interview on ABC television Wednesday night, Australia's opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten said the situation was "absurd".

John Howard's National Security Committee (NSC) nearly removed the right to remain silent.

Recommended

Snow ends, but temps drop as the wind increases! Snow ends, but temps drop as the wind increases! It's another scenario where we begin with light snow Tuesday night , with possible mixing and a change over to rain on Wednesday . That throws the door wide open for all that snow to eventually start moving into Billings on Saturday night and Sunday .

Local hospitals celebrate "Wear Red Day" for women and heart health awareness Local hospitals celebrate Americans are asked to wear red as a symbol of strength and unity in the movement to end cardiovascular disease and stroke. The American Heart Association says heart disease kills one in three women or approximately one woman every minute.

Riyad Mahrez misses Leicester training for second successive day Riyad Mahrez misses Leicester training for second successive day The situation between Riyad Mahrez and Leicester City is not as straightforward as one might think. Playing for Pep Guardiola is something he is still desperate to do.

Attacker accuses West Ham United of being racist Attacker accuses West Ham United of being racist Senegal worldwide Sakho was last month sold to Rennes after finding his first team opportunities limited at the London Stadium.

Test of Hawaii's Missile Interceptor Was a Flop Test of Hawaii's Missile Interceptor Was a Flop Japan is planning to buy the Aegis Ashore land based system to boost its own defenses against North Korea. It successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target last February in a test launch.

Syria Might Be Making New Chemical Weapons Syria Might Be Making New Chemical Weapons The Islamic State (ISIS) group continues to use them, they said, although the jihadists' arms are said to be more rudimentary. The official was referring to Russia's media offensive to deny its connection to chemical weapons use in Syria .

HMD Global launches Nokia 3310 4G in China HMD Global launches Nokia 3310 4G in China Over the past couple of years, smartphones have become quite affordable, thanks to tough competition from Chinese rivals. What more, it can be a viable alternative to the popular JioPhone too! It also has a secondary camera for video calling.

Arun Jaitley to balance populism, fiscal prudence Arun Jaitley to balance populism, fiscal prudence The secret sheets get updated as the new data come in, which help in framing the whole budget process. Nevertheless, the fifth budget of Modi government assumes critical significance for several reasons.

First sight of new generation Santa Fe First sight of new generation Santa Fe Hyundai really wants the new Hyundai Santa Fe to stand out in the crowd, both aesthetically and technologically. Power is provided by a 147hp 2.0-liter engine paired to a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

Dirty Money: VW apologised for conducting diesel tests on animals Dirty Money: VW apologised for conducting diesel tests on animals Daimler also promised to investigate, while saying it didn't have any influence over the study. They were meant to show modern diesel technology had solved the problem of excess emissions.

Oxford Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in French police custody on rape accusations Oxford Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan in French police custody on rape accusations Shorlty after, a second woman came forward who said she had gone through a similar experience with Ramadan in 2009. Ramadan has taken a leave from Oxford, where he is professor of contemporary Islamic studies.

US Defies Turkey's Demands, Won't Withdraw From Manbij US Defies Turkey's Demands, Won't Withdraw From Manbij No decision has been made on heeding Turkey's public requests to move the troops, who are prepared to fight, the Pentagon says. So far, Turkey has reported the killing of 712 militants, and the destruction of more than 400 militants facilities.

The Battle For Azeroth Launches Summer 2018 The Battle For Azeroth Launches Summer 2018 As of now, players can pre-purchase the World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Standard Edition or the Digital Deluxe Edition . Once the race is available, players can then create their new character, and these new races will begin at level 20.

Justice Department Won't Be Retrying Senator Bob Menendez On Corruption Charges Justice Department Won't Be Retrying Senator Bob Menendez On Corruption Charges The spokeswoman said the Justice Department's decision was prompted by a judge's decision last week to acquit Mr. Melgen was separately convicted of a Medicare fraud in Florida and is awaiting sentencing in that case in July.

Nintendo Switch has already sold more than the Wii U Nintendo Switch has already sold more than the Wii U The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sits at 6.7 million sales, while Splatoon 2 has so-far shifted 4.91 million copies. This is an increase of over 261 per cent and the highest quarterly operating profit since the quarter ending December 2009.