Classified U.S. documents leaked on Minecraft

Ava Bartolone, Entertainment Editor

Jack Teixeira, a 21 year old Air National Guardsman, was arrested recently following the leak of highly classified military documents in a Minecraft chat room, raising concerns regarding United States’ national security.

In early March 2023, sensitive documents concerning United States military affairs were randomly posted during an argument between two users on a Minecraft related chat forum. Used for a variety of purposes–chatting with others, streaming video games and leaking classified documents, Discord is a popular online messaging platform on which the leak occurred.

Pentagon and Justice Department officials first discovered this formidable leak through a The New York Times. The documents had been widely spread on Telegram and 4chan, two other online chatting platforms, but were traced back to a “Minecraft Earth Map” Discord Server. Out of the number of documents allegedly leaked (up to 100), about 60 were confirmed genuine.

This leak has brought massive concerns about national security, one of those being how this may affect trust between Russia and the United States, to Russia’s benefit. The actual number and contents of the documents leaked are unknown, although The New York Times estimates it could be over 100. These leaks have disrupted United States foreign policies and exasperated America’s allies.

The contents of the documents include U.S. intelligence on the Russia-Ukraine War, surveillance on U.S. allies and even details concerning U.S. penetration of Russian military plans. The severity of these leaks forced the United States government to react quickly in an attempt to do some damage control.

Following the arrest of suspected leaker Jack Teixeira, a gun enthusiast with a disconcerting past. Upon investigation, it was discovered that he was a First Class Airman who worked in the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He was arrested at his home and is being prosecuted in a Boston court, currently charged with unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material.

Teixeira is presumed to be the head of a cult-like online group of about 24 men and boys formed through their mutual love of guns, God and military gear. The Washington Post says the leader went by the name “OG.” He had reportedly told a younger member of the group he worked in a top secret military base and had a certain way about him that enthralled and captivated younger, impressionable members who began to look up to him, according to anonymous teen member of the group interviewed by The Washington Post.

After some further digging into Teixeira’s personal life, more details were uncovered about his concerning actions. Students from the high school Jack Teixeira had attended told media he had an obsession with guns, war and violence. The Washington Post reports he also has a history of “making racial threats,” piquing further discussion about Teixeira’s personal views.

Currently, Teixeira is currently detained and awaiting trail on charges of “unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents,” facing up to 25 years in jail.