Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Why did the US take so long to notice the classified document leak?

Why did the US take so long to notice the classified document leak?

A major leak of classified documents has shaken the United States and is now raising questions about how authorities could have missed them.

The leak seems to have started in a small private chatroom on a social media platform called Discord, popular with video gamers.

The documents purport to detail the progress of the Ukraine war, Kyiv's battle plans and US espionage tactics around the world.

According to an investigation by Bellingcat, images of the top secret files were shared as far back as January but they only caught Washington’s attention in early April once the media started reporting on the leak.

On Thursday, US authorities identified the suspected leaker as 21-year-old Jack Teixeira. He has been arrested and taken into custody.

Teixeira is a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The documents are normally accessible only to officials with the highest level of security clearance, raising eyebrows about how a junior member of staff could have accessed this information.

Yet US defence officials told AP he needed such access in his role.


Should US intelligence agencies change how they handle sensitive information?


"It's alarming that this person had access to this type of information," said Dan Lomas, a security and intelligence lecturer at Brunel University, London.

"Within the U.S. intelligence community, there are 18 different intelligence organisations. There are hundreds of thousands of individuals who can potentially gain access to documents like this. It's a result of this idea that post-9/1, the government started pushing out as much information as possible for analysts to interpret. The more you push information out, the more likely it'll be leaked due to so many people having access to it," he told Euronews.

The documents appeared in a dark corner of the web focused on gaming and in a small private chatroom. Lomas believes it was understandable the Pentagon did not notice the leak.

"There are so many avenues for people to potentially leak information online. There's so many online chat rooms, and you can anonymise yourself and leak information... This is effectively like searching for a needle in a haystack," he explained.

"But at the heart of the story is the problem of someone actually printing out these documents and taking them home to then post online. think there are also potential issues there regarding the vetting of individuals, but mostly it's about document security and who has access to this. I suspect we'll start to see, if anything, a tightening up of the document handling processes."

However, cybersecurity experts say Discord has been used by criminals and hackers.

“The Discord domain helps attackers disguise the exfiltration of data by making it look like any other traffic coming across the network,” said a 2021 report by Cisco’s Talos cybersecurity team.

But monitoring online private chatrooms also could raise issues in terms of privacy and free speech. Law enforcement agencies don’t have the legal right to monitor a private online chatroom preemptively.

"If they do start doing that, then you have a clash with constitutional rights. You have serious questions about civil liberties and individual freedom in the US," said Abishur Prakash, geopolitics and technology expert in an interview with Euronews.


'A unique instance of leakage'


The intelligence leak does not appear to resemble previous incidents such as in the case of Edward Snowden in 2013.

The big question currently: why did the leaker disclose these documents? The motive remains unclear and the way it happened is very unusual as well, according to experts.

"Intelligence agencies in the U.S. have to ask the question: why are people doing this? It's not about civic duty. It's about something else," said Abishur Prakash.

"This is a unique instance of leakage. We're seeing someone leak information not for political purposes, not whistleblowing purposes, seemingly for the weird reason of wanting to make friends," believes Dan Lomas, security and intelligence lecturer.

"He seems to be someone who wants to reach out to individuals to impress them. One way to do it is to share top-secret, classified U.S. information that might make people think that this person is more important than he really is," he said.

As the investigation unfolds, officials are bracing for the possibility that more classified information could be circulating online.

Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
×