War Thunder players keep leaking confidential military documents

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A military drill sergeant screaming at War Thunder players for leaking classified military documents

If we had a penny for each time a War Thunder player leaked confidential military documents, we’d have multiple pennies! This week, private documents have been leaked not once, but twice, in the popular free-to-play dogfighting game.

Back in June, classified documents were leaked in the game’s forum for the third time. Now, both the fourth and fifth leak has occurred thanks to highly dedicated military plane enthusiasts.

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The most recent leak occurred due to an argument surrounding the realism of War Thunder. Fans of the game embroiled in a dispute regarding the game’s interpretation of the F-16 fighter jet. (Let’s be fair, it’s a cool plane!)

On the game’s official forum, this disagreement led to the posting of multiple classified manuals for the F-15E US Strike Eagle jet. Introduced in 1988, the high-speed fighter plane isn’t even featured in War Thunder at the time of writing.

As it turns out, spreading these documents is a federal crime under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). With the plane still in active production for the US military, and its development still classified, the posting of its systems manuals is illegal disclosure of United States property.

Since sharing classified military documents is now a common occurrence to the game’s community, the official subreddit made a post mocking the latest leaks. However, one moderator used the thread as an opportunity to warn users against posting classified documents on the page.

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“I am so glad we're not the forums,” the moderator said. “That being said, if any of you idiots leak any export restricted or classified documents in this subreddit, I will personally shut this place down for a week to make the person responsible think long and hard about their life choices. WT is a video game. Stop committing federal crimes over internet arguments about it.”

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Hilariously, the poster of the Reddit thread was the same person behind other document leaks earlier this week. However, those documents were simply “export restricted”, not actually classified.