Top Secret Government Files Found in Second Hand Shop

Someone Left A Bunch Of Government Secrets In A Filing Cabinet And Now You Can Read Them

The broadcaster said the files could easily have fallen into the wrong hands as the sale was not limited to Australians and the documents could have been passed on to a foreign agent or government.

"The Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has initiated an urgent investigation into the circumstances around the disposal of two Commonwealth Government filing cabinets that allegedly contained classified material", it said. The ABC says those classified records were from "the powerful National Security Committee (NSC) of the cabinet, which controls the country's security, intelligence and defense agenda".

Thousands of Australian government files, some of them marked "top secret", have been discovered in a pair of discarded filing cabinets purchased at a second-hand shop in the nation's capital, Canberra. The were subsequenrly obtained by the ABC.

Tony Abbott also agrees that someone must be held responsible for the "monumental lapse".

The units came at a discount price because they were locked and no one could find the keys. "Almost all the files are classified, some as "top secret" or 'AUSTEO, ' which means they are to be seen by Australian eyes only". "A nifty person drilled the locks and uncovered the trove of documents inside", the ABC reported.

As a justification to why they have chosen to publish some of the files, the ABC said that national security and the inner workings of our government affect the lives of all Australians.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's top bureaucrat is conducting an urgent probe after hundreds of classified documents spanning the inner workings of five Australian governments were found in a second-hand furniture store.

ABC made a decision to publish some of the files, containing information regarding Australia's counterterrorism strategies, missile upgrades and terror suspect profiles, because "national security and the inner workings of our governments affect the lives of all Australians".

The documents reveal embarrassing blunders by the Australian Federal Police and the office of a former Minister - as well as Government deliberations usually kept secret for decades.

Cabinet documents are not normally released until 20 years after publication.

It also mentioned that former Prime Minister John Howard's administration had debated removing the right of people to remain silent under police questioning.

Head of the Australian National University's National Security College Rory Medcalf told AP that although the incident is "very weird and embarrassing", allies like the USA should not be anxious about the leak.

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