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    6 Aug 2015

    Spy agency whistle-blower posts top secret report to 4chan but users dismiss it as 'fake and gay'

    Documents obtained from the Australian Department of Defence were dismissed by 4chan users


    A whistle-blower anonymously published a highly sensitive report obtained
    from an Australian spy agency on the website 4chan, but his document was
    soon automatically deleted after it failed to gain much attention. Those
    4chan users who did view the document dismissed it as "fake and gay".
    The Defence Intelligence Organisation assessment contained information
    that could have been exploitedby foreign intelligence services and risked
    causing serious harm to Australia's national security interests, according
    to the Australian Department of Defence.
    Michael Scerba, a Department of Defence graduate, faces two charges
     after allegedly disclosing the document in 2012 in a 4chan post titled
     "Julian Assange is my hero".The post allegedly made by Scerba read:
    "I release what I feel should be in the media: bombings, civilian deaths,
    actions of the 'terrorists' that just aren't reported in the media."
    Court documents reveal that a former Defence Signals Directorate officer
    made the "fortuitous" discovery of the leak on the notorious chat forum
    after it was posted, but by then people had already commented
    on the report.
    A subsequent post that prosecutors claim was made by Scerba stated: "To
    my dismayI just got a bunch of 'fake and gay' remarks and the secret
     documentswent 404 [website not found] about 4 comments and 1 hour
    later."
    Scerba was identified by the Australian Federal Police, who tracked the IP
    address of the original post. At his home they found a broken disc in a bin,
    which prosecutors claim contained a 15-page document obtained
    from the agency. Despite being dismissed by 4chan users,
    the Department of Defence claims that there is no way of knowing who
    might have obtained the report. The documents were reportedly marked
    with "Secret, 5 eyes", referencing the alliance of Australia, Canada,
    New Zealand, the UK and the US.
    The date for Scerba's trial is yet to be set, though court records suggest
    that he will plead guilty to at least one of the charges brought against him.
    Justice Andrew Refshauge stated: "I have read a confidential affidavit,
    filed without objection, which sets out reasons, which I accept, as to why
    the public disclosure of the contents of the affidavit and the sensitive
     information would be prejudicialto national security.
    It appears that [Scerba] has proposed to plead guilty to one
    count and the other count may also be subject to a plea, although
    that has not yet been proposed."
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