Shockingly, 4chan—the cherished home of aspiring internet vigilantes and/or racist piles of garbage everywhere—isn’t quite as cunning as it might have you believe. When a whistleblower published a highly sensitive (and highly legitimate) report from an Australian spy agency to its profanity-laden forums, 4chan users didn’t waste any time in analyzing the potential goldmine at their fingertips: “Fake and gay.”
The Defence Intelligence Organisation assessment contained information that could have been exploited by 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.”
Apparently, a former Defence Signals Directorate just so happened to stumble across the leak on 4chan, but “by then people had already commented on the report.” Why a former Australian Defence Directorate was ever on 4chan in the first place, however, remains inconclusive.
To my dismay I just got a bunch of ‘fake and gay’ remarks and the secret documents went 404 [website not found] about 4 comments and 1 hour later.
By that point, Australian police were able to track the post back to Scerba’s home, where, according to the IB Times, they found a broken disc in the trash that contained a 15-page document “marked with ‘Secret, 5 eyes,’ referencing the alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US.”
So, boys and girls, what have we learned? 1) Don’t release your secret stolen goods to a website full of angry 12-year-olds (and at least one retired military official, I guess). And 2) If you do need to throw away your fake, gay info—find somewhere better than your trash can.