'Largest-Ever' Security Breach Hits Aussie Government As Media Dumps Top-Secret Files

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has obtained a treasure trove of top-secret and highly classified files, which it has dumped in a report titled: “The Cabinet files,” triggering the largest-ever breach of cabinet security in Australian history.

Top-secret documents relating to national security, immigration, welfare, communications and even controversial racial discrimination laws, which spans at least five administrations, somehow ended up at a second-hand shop in Canberra, Capital of Australia.

The ABC says the highly classified documents were locked in two large filing cabinets at a furniture clearinghouse store in Canberra without keys. An unidentifiable individual purchased the filing cabinets for a steep discount and then drilled out the locks to only discover thousands of files revealing the inner workings of government. All files are classified, some as “top-secret” or “AUSTEO,” which means government eyes only.

It is hard to comprehend the thought process here: Government officials misplaced keys to two large filing cabinets in the Parliment House, then decide to dispose of the cabinets after the keys went missing.

ABC reiterates that “no-one broke any laws” in this case, and it will be protecting all confidential sources who handed over the top- secret documents.

The embarrassing revelations for the government were reported on Wednesday by the ABC, after several days of leaks surfaced in media exposing unpopular government decisions from prior administrations in the 2013 through 2014 timeframe.

Here is a quick summary of the leaks: 

  • The Australian Federal Police (AFP) lost hundreds of national security files (separate from ABC leak).
  • John Howard’s National Security Committee (NSC) gave serious consideration to removing an individual’s unfettered right to remain silent when questioned by police.
  • Andrew Bolt consulted on changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was consulted when the federal government moved to change it, according to the draft legislation contained in The Cabinet Files.
  • NBN Co’s secret strategy for negotiating with potential investors reveals the initial lofty ambitions for the project Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has since labeled a “calamitous train wreck”.
  • The office of the new prime minister, Tony Abbott, was notified of the security breach in October 2013.
  • Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and two senior Labor ministers were warned about “critical risks” of the home insulation scheme before the deaths of four young installers, according to a report in The Cabinet Files.
  • Scott Morrison agreed his department should intervene in ASIO security checks to try to prevent asylum seekers from being granted permanent protection visas.
  • Tony Abbott’s “razor gang” considered banning anyone under 30 from accessing income support in a radical proposal ahead of the 2014 budget.

Rory Medcalf, head of the Australian National University’s National Security College, described the top-secret documents as “very weird and embarrassing” from a national security and political perspective.

Metcalf said Australia’s allies, including the United States, should be concerned about the security breach, but should not be overly concerned.

“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 (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

On Wednesday, following the announcements of the security breach, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet advised an immediate investigation would be conducted.

Comments

Paul John Smith Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:27 Permalink

"OH MY GOD! THE SHADOW BEASTS THAT DIDDLE KIDS ARE HAVING THEIR SECRETS AIRED AND CRAP!"

(oh the horror)

The Aussie government is no different than any other, or ours, and is likely a satanic cabal of child molesters high on meth ..

RAT005 ThanksChump Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:34 Permalink

These gov. morons pay themselves a fortune of our money, and they can't do one damn thing right!!

For sure there is a piece of paper missing from somewhere giving authorization for the cabinets to be moved, and so the person that moved them (doesn't matter who told them to do so) will be prosecuted as a criminal.  It's only fair, especially if it's a white male.

In reply to by ThanksChump

Parrotile TGDavis Thu, 02/01/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

"Best-connected" rather than best & brightest.

Where there's (very good) money, there's corruption. Australia is no diffferent - and with our population "background", what do you really expect.

Tha amount of wastage and mis-allocation of taxpayers' money here is jaw-dropping. In Healthcare everyone wants the latest High-Tech "toys" (looks good for our regular audits) but the inability to use the technology effectively (if at all, along with very poor investment in the underlying IT infrastructure) means the money is wasted.

In reply to by TGDavis

CRM114 Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:31 Permalink

"Prime Minister and Cabinet advised an immediate witch-hunt would be conducted, in parallel with total denials of, well, everything."

FTFY!

A former Cabinet spokesman said "Oh f#ck. Oh, f#ckety-f#ck-f#ck. F####CK!"

 

 

The basic problem with filling the civil service with f#ckwit patronage managers and left wing affirmative action f#ckwits, is that they are f#ckwits. The clue's in the name.

 

bloofer CRM114 Thu, 02/01/2018 - 21:20 Permalink

The same thing goes on in every little town. In my neck of the woods, the entire infrastructure of nearest town of about 5,000 people was allowed to go completely to hell over the last 20-30 years: Electrical generators not maintained, and water and sewer systems not maintained and enhanced--and this despite the city enjoying 10-20 years of excellent tax revenues due to its being an attractive exurb.

The reason for infrastructure deterioration was that local elites made sure their unqualified and completely incompetent relatives got the city jobs overseeing these matters.

So, right around 2008 (when the money dried up), the EPA closed down their generators and the city had to buy electricity on the open market, which doubled everyone's electric bills. It is my understanding that the city cannot attract a large retailer or manufacturer because local infrastructure is inadequate. Plus no business that requires any significant amount of electricity can afford the electric bills.

Putting incompetent people in charge of critical infrastructure has probably ensured that the town will not recover economically for generations, if ever.

In reply to by CRM114

pndr4495 Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:32 Permalink

It's too bad John Clarke is no longer alive to give not only the Auzzies a good belly laugh over the headline, but also, everyone else who found his wit (and of course, Brian Dawe's too) enjoyable to experience.

Badsamm Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:33 Permalink

What if all politicians were forced to wear GoPros when doing official business. You can always wait to release if classified but people need to see How they are being represented and for which donors. 

 

If the police can do it for our safety, and theirs, why not politicians. Whatcha hiding