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

The cabinets full of state secrets were sold at an op shop.

cabinet files

Over the past few days, the ABC has been breaking some pretty huge news stories based on documents apparently leaked from federal cabinet. They’ve revealed that Rudd knew about the risks of the disastrous 2010 home insulation scheme before people died, that Scott Morrison has been actively trying to slow down the processing of asylum seekers’ visa applications, and other enormous stories.

Now, we know how they got the documents behind these stories: from an actual, literal filing cabinet, put up for sale at a Canberra secondhand furniture store.

Basically, as the ABC details in this extraordinary interactive, it looks like some government employee has accidentally sent two entire filing cabinets full of top-secret files — files that should have remained secret for 20 years — to an op shop where ex-government furniture is sold off for cheap. The filing cabinets in question were sold off especially cheaply, because they were clearly full, and no-one could find the keys.

Whoever bought them used a drill to force the locks, though, and discovered a huge trove of classified documents the government certainly did not intend for people to see for a long, long time. And thanks to the ABC, you can read the highlights here.

Honestly, we can’t believe after years of technologically complex whistleblowing, one of the biggest document leaks of 2018 has come from an actual, honest-to-god filing cabinet. Who even uses those anymore?


Filing cabinet image by R. Rafson, CC BY-SA 3.0