Massive New Leak of Documents Could Be "The Largest Intelligence Leak Since Snowden"

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

It's been more than a year and a half since Edward Snowden's groundbreaking leak of confidential security documents became public, and now, a new cache of files is about to burst onto the scene.

Al Jazeera's investigative team is set to release "The Spy Cables," a massive collection of secret intelligence documents from covert agencies like Britain's MI6, Israel's Mossad and South Africa's State Security Agency. The files cover activity between 2006 and 2014, and they'll be published in conjunction with the Guardian, the newspaper that originally partnered with Edward Snowden to release his findings.

Taken together, according to Al Jazeera, the files comprise "the largest intelligence leak since Snowden." It's a bold statement, but given the alleged scope of the documents — which will be released over the next few days — the prediction could very well prove true. 

Source: YouTube

Lest you think that The Spy Cables will inadvertently train you in espionage, however, Al Jazeera notes that most of the documents are actually quite mundane. They largely focus on "human intelligence," as opposed to the Snowden leaks, which were concerned with "electronic signals intelligence." 

In other words, though espionage seems sexy to outsiders, much of it is rather quotidian. 

"At times, the workplace resembles any other, with spies involved in form-filling, complaints about missing documents and personal squabbles," Al Jazeera explains.

That doesn't mean it's all boring, however. According to Business Insider, the revelations will include "Israel's 'true' assessment of Iran's nuclear capabilities," "an MI6 operation to recruit a North Korean spy" and "an assassination plot targeting an African union leader."

As for any possible harm that may stem from the release, Al Jazeera noted that it redacted the names of specific agency operatives, as well as portions "that could pose a threat to the public," like those with instructions on how to build explosives.

"Rather than chronicling spy-movie style tales of ruthless efficiency of intelligence agencies, they offer an unprecedented glimpse into the daily working lives of people whose jobs are kept secret from the public," the team wrote.

Your move, Glenn Greenwald.

h/t Business Insider

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Sophie Kleeman

Sophie is a staff writer at Mic covering the intersection of tech and culture. She's based in New York and can be reached at sophie@mic.com.

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