MI6 Sells Digital Camera on Ebay Containing Terrorist Images


Another classic data leakage….and once again it happened on Ebay! This time it’s a British agency known as MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service) demonstrating a distinct lack of intelligence.

How on earth does something like even happen? Even smaller agencies and companies I’ve worked with have rigorous data destruction policies when old equipment is recycled or sold off, I’m sure MI6 has something similar.

The UK government is investigating how a digital camera containing terrorist images apparently taken by MI6 was sold on eBay.

The Nikon CoolPix camera was bought for £17 by a 28 year-old man from Hertfordshire and contained the names of al-Qaeda members, fingerprints and suspects’ academic records as well as pictures of rocket launchers and missiles, according to The Sun.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that a police investigation is under way.”

However she refused to comment on whether the camera was put on sale by an MI6 operative, despite it containing details of MI6’s computer network.

Terrorist information, names and more for only £17! What a bargain.

It does puzzle me a bit htouhg, why would all of these documents be stored on a camera? Perhaps someone using the camera to covertly move documents out of MI6?

It seems odd for anything other than images to be on a CoolPix.

MI6 is the foreign intelligence service for the UK government with a broadly similar remit as the US CIA.

Terrorism author Neil Doyle said: “These are MI6 documents relating to an operation against al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq. It’s jaw-dropping that they got into the public domain.

“Not only do they divulge secrets about operations, operating systems and previously unheard-of MI6 departments, but they could put lives at risk.”

Really bad PR for the agency I must say…at least no harm came of it and it was exposed so hopefully someone in power will do something about it and make sure the policies that I’m sure they have are implemented and enforced properly.

There’s no point having policies and procedures if they aren’t enforced, it’s not just good to do the paperwork, you have to put it in practice too!

Source: Vnunet

Posted in: Legal Issues, Privacy

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9 Responses to MI6 Sells Digital Camera on Ebay Containing Terrorist Images

  1. SpikyHead October 8, 2008 at 12:56 pm #

    Well As the say “However she refused to comment on whether the camera was put on sale by an MI6 operative”

    Which one is worse?

    – It was put on sale by MI6 operative
    – or, If it was NOT put on sale by MI6 operative

    first point shows lack of diligence and training at one of the most trusted govt agencies of the world.

    second proves that even this most trusted govt agency is vulnerable to breaches..

  2. pl0x October 8, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    Don’t rule out the possibility that it’s a fake.

  3. s4 October 8, 2008 at 3:51 pm #

    couldnt agree more with plox. a couple of guys with tea towels and bb guns could easily set this up!

  4. Ian Kemmish October 8, 2008 at 9:08 pm #

    This appeared in The Sun on the same day as a “photograph” and report of a UFO following that guy who flew across the channel strapped to four jet engines.

    The MI6 report claimed that the purchaser, a deliveryman who, like all Sun readers lives with his mum, got a visit from men telling him to say nothing about it.

    Surely such a person is a) unlikely to be smart enough to recognise what he’s looking at, and b) unlikely to be dumb enough to talk after being given a friendly warning like that.

    Sounds like another case of “all the news that’s fit to make up”….

  5. Goodpeople October 9, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    I don’t believe a word of it.

    fun to read tho…

  6. davie October 9, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    i wouldent be to sure youl get a lot of folk that selling this to the papers would seem like a good idea(stupid i say)

  7. SpikyHead October 10, 2008 at 5:53 am #

    But if it was a fake, why didnt the Foreign Office spokeswoman said it was fake…

    And no news appeared in papers saying “It was fake!”

  8. navin October 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm #

    @ spikyhead

    If a spokesman said it was fake, it’d only increase suspicion of its authenticity….if such a statement did come out, i’d definitely say it was the real deal!!

  9. SpikyHead October 13, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    @naveen, But not telling that its fake isn’t doing any good either…