This article originally appeared on VICE US.
Australia's The Age is reporting that a 2012 Defense Intelligence Organization leak (DIO) has been traced from its source, a then 21-year-old graduate with Australia's Department of Defense, to the imageboard 4chan, where the documents were allegedly live for approximately one hour.
The alleged whistleblower, named Michael Scerba, is said to have downloaded a DIO assessment, burned it to a CD, and then uploaded it to 4chan with a note that Wikileaks' Julian Assange was his hero.
If you know anything about 4chan, this was not a good idea.
Several days after Scerba had posted the documents, a naval officer browsing 4chan found posts he'd created referencing the original leak. In the posts, Scerba apparently complained that his leak failed to gain traction among the often abrasive and brusque users of the site. The Age reports:
A user, who prosecutors allege was Scerba, complained that no one had believed the documents were real.
"Plus 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 1 hour later," he allegedly posted.
"So... any other suggestions on how to minimize getting caught by authorities?"
A link to The Age's story was posted on 4chan itself (view an archived version of it here). The site's users seemed generally pleased with their actions.
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