A former Australian Department of Defence worker is facing trial for allegedly leaking classified files to the 4chan messaging forum.
Court documents revealed Michael Scerba, 24, has been charged with “unauthorised access to or modification of restricted data,” and “disclosure of information by a Commonwealth officer.”
Specifically, Scarba is believed to have posted a secret document from Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation onto the online 4chan messaging forum.
The post in question has been removed from 4chan and the exact nature of the leaked document remains unknown. The Age said the document had a “five eyes” mark on each page.
Five eyes is an intelligence alliance between Australia, the US, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand. Its existence was revealed in 2013 when Edward Snowden leaked documents to the press detailing intelligence agencies surveillance activities.
Scarba reportedly managed to steal the file by ripping it to a CD while working as a junior defence bureaucrat.
The act was reportedly a message of solidarity with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. According to The Age, Scarda posted the document with the message “Julian Assange is my hero.”
Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, a website that publishes leaked government documents. Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in a rape investigation.
Assange fears Swedish police will extradite him to the United States, where he could be arrested for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents.
Business Insider has reached out to the Australian Department of Defence for comment.
No date has yet been set for the trial, though the court document reports: “It appears that he has proposed to plead guilty to one count and the other count may also be subject to a plea, although that has not yet been proposed.”