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Aussie state gov't left red-faced after accidentally publishing name of secret intelligence agent

SYDNEY -- Australia's Queensland state government has issued an apology after publishing the name of a secret intelligence agent by accident.

It was first uncovered by the Guardian News outlet on Thursday evening. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the embarrassing blunder was an "administrative error" and has now been removed.

Although the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) goes to extreme lengths to keep the identities of their agents a secret, on this occasion the name of the operative that was published as part of the state government's ministerial diaries, remained online for up to one month.

Under the Australian law, it is illegal to reveal the identity of an ASIO employee and anyone who does so is liable to face up to 10 years in prison.

Although it remains highly unlikely anyone will face prosecution due to the accidental nature of the breach, other members of the state Parliament are calling for an inquiry into the matter.

"A full investigation must be carried out into this farce," Deb Frecklington, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland for Nanango, said.

"It has compromised national security and compromised an intelligence officer who is serving our nation."

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