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Australia Loses Top Secret Papers in File Cabinets

Canberra, Australia —(Map)

Recently, Australians were surprised to hear lots of government secrets told on the news. People wondered how the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) learned so many secrets. The answer? They found them in old cabinets that the government had sold.

Sometimes governments sell old furniture that they don’t need or want any more. It looks like the government of Australia sold two filing cabinets that they thought they didn’t want. These cabinets ended up in a secondhand furniture store in Canberra.

Locking File Cabinet
Locking File Cabinet
(Source: Sailko, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Later, the furniture store sold the two filing cabinets. The shop sold them cheaply because the cabinets were locked and they couldn’t find the keys. But the people who bought the cabinets were able to get them open. When they did, they found top secret government files inside. That’s how ABC was able to find out secrets for their news stories.

There are thousands of secret documents that go back more than ten years. Many of the files are embarrassing for the Australian government. ABC still has the files, but now the secret documents are also being guarded by the Australian secret service. People are still trying to find out how the filing cabinets got to the secondhand furniture shop.


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