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MI6 Terror Photos, Data Accidentally Sold On Ebay 317

Posted by timothy
from the that's-ar15-for-ordinary-citizens dept.
Barence writes "In what's turning out to be a bad week for security in the UK, confidential MI6 documents, fingerprints and photos relating to suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists have been found in the memory of the second-hand Nikon Coolpix camera, which was bought on eBay for only £17. The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke; when they realised he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC. Remember, this is the same MI6 which plans to recruit new members via Facebook, a userbase not exactly famous for its dedication to privacy, security and discretion. The news comes on the back of yesterday's embarrassment over a local council whose VPN device ended up on eBay with confidential login details left on it."
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MI6 Terror Photos, Data Accidentally Sold On Ebay

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  • Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:31AM (#25204363) Journal

    The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke; when they realised he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC.

    This is why you never talk to the police.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) *

      According to TFA, the police replaced the camera equipment they swiped. I didn't see any mention in the article of them taking his computer. Only replacing "$1000 worth of camera equipment".

      • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Informative)

        by slug359 (533109) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:36AM (#25204427) Homepage

        4th paragraph:

        "However, the police subsequently descended on the man's home, seizing his computer and camera equipment."

        • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:43AM (#25204529) Journal
          Sounds like a good place to work. Clearly, they're full of incompetents, leaving lots of room to slack off and still shine brighter than everyone else. Course, after a few years of doing so, you train yourself to be as useless as the rest of em, but then you can just suck up a government cheque and pass the buck until it's time to retire.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by earlymon (1116185)

            If only it were that easy. Remember - in the land of blind men, a one-eyed man is king; in the land of idiots and fools, a wise man is put to death.

            So it is at government agencies - I know.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by ShieldW0lf (601553)
              My post was intended as a cynical joke. Seriously though, when it comes to government, I've always been more concerned about the prospect of pouring months and years of my time and effort into creating something only to have it discarded because someone else got elected than about security and high pay. I've spoken to a few people who had that happen to them repeatedly and it sucked the soul right out of them, left a real impression on me. Building sandcastles that get wiped out every time the tide comes
        • Re:Fuck the police (Score:4, Insightful)

          by electrictroy (912290) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:57AM (#25205473)

          >>>they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC.

          How nice. You try to be an honest citizen, and they steal your stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if they next decide to charge him for "trafficing" in playboy photos, illegal music, and/or downloaded movies.

      • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Informative)

        by DeadManCoding (961283) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:38AM (#25204463)
        His computer was seized as he downloaded the files, The Register [theregister.co.uk] has more info.
      • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bestinshow (985111) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:40AM (#25204491)

        1) They took his computer.

        2) They replaced the equipment, at a cost of a grand. Whether or not this was a like-for-like replacement or better is unanswered.

        Whether or not he got his personal data back is another question, as anyone knows it is the time invested in generating your own data that is the real value in your PC. I hope he had a backup.

        Knowing the British police I expect he'll be arrested for some non-related data on the hard drive like some MP3s.

        • That was also the first thing that came to my mind. If someone would seize my data, I would probably have to shoot me at that same day. That's how important my data is. Of course I'm not stupid, and would try to shoot others to get it back, before shooting myself. ;)

          And you can't just create a backup and hide it somewhere else, every time you store something important. :(
          Besides: They may find that too.

        • by Daimanta (1140543)

          "They replaced the equipment, at a cost of a grand. Whether or not this was a like-for-like replacement or better is unanswered."

          Most likely he got better equipment. The guy probably didn't have a pc worth 1000GBP(1500,2000$) so he got the better deal out of that.

          That doesn't mean he probably loses all of this data on the old pc, and that's probably worth at least 1000GBP if only in emotional value(family photos and business related data)

        • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich.annexia@org> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:23AM (#25205037) Homepage

          Whether or not he got his personal data back is another question, as anyone knows it is the time invested in generating your own data that is the real value in your PC. I hope he had a backup.

          It's OK, he can just buy them back when they turn up on ebay ...

          Rich.

        • Having mp3 files on your computer is not illegal in the UK

          Offering them to other people is ....

        • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Not_Wiggins (686627) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:31AM (#25205145) Journal
          Whether or not he got his personal data back is another question, as anyone knows it is the time invested in generating your own data that is the real value in your PC. I hope he had a backup.

          Actually, in a case like this, having a backup isn't going to help. Likely, the police would want to grab that, too. 8/
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by zobier (585066)

            That's a good argument for off-site backups, or if you want to get creative, something like encrypted Usenet posts.

      • I strongly suspect that the computer was used to look at the photos, which means it downloaded them, which means that it had classified information on it, so of course they seized it.

        I hope he had an offsite backup.

      • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Informative)

        by necro81 (917438) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:24AM (#25205055) Journal

        A clarification: the cost of replacement equipment was £1,000, not $1,000.

    • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JustKidding (591117) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:36AM (#25204433)
      I still have a hard time believing the people who decide such things are really that stupid. What message does that send to the next finder of classified information or material? "just post it on Flickr via anonymous proxy?" They could have just asked for the camera, and offered a replacement for it, and a new computer with a copy of their data.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If I find myself in possession of classified information in this way, I _want_ the agency to confiscate and replace and as publicly as possible, thanks. I don't want anyone thinking I still have this information.

    • by sharperguy (1065162) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:43AM (#25204533)

      The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke

      I'll just type it up on my invisible typewriter.

    • by KeepQuiet (992584) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:51AM (#25204627)
      He should leave negative feedback. That will teach them a lesson.
    • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xiroth (917768) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:55AM (#25204681)
      Uh, if they needed to minimise the risk of a copy of the files being left behind, what exactly should the police have done? If I reported something like this to the police, the next thing I'd do is open the doors and put on a pot of tea for the special ops chaps who'd likely be calling by momentarily. Just because they came by and siezed the relevent equipment doesn't mean they treated him like a criminal - they simply did the best they could in a bad situation, and were probably rather apologetic to him and his family. They could well have returned the computer within 48 hours - we really don't have enough information to be passing judgement about this.
      • by orielbean (936271)
        You never saw Brazil did you?
      • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:16AM (#25204909) Journal

        You're right, the police probably had little choice other than to confiscate his equipment. It was a completely predictable reaction, and that is why the person in question shouldn't have gone to the police.

        Even if they did return the equipment,I hope he's comfortable with some thug poring over his personal and private data. You know, searching through his email to see who he might have spoken with about these records. Looking at every single image file on the drive, etc.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by apodyopsis (1048476)
        its a sad,sad state of affairs when this is modded "funny".

        its is naive to label them a bunch of C&nts and then hope they are nice to you later on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sjames (1099)

        Uh, if they needed to minimise the risk of a copy of the files being left behind, what exactly should the police have done?

        A very polite MI6 operative should have shown up with a damned nice computer ( MUCH better than the existing one) and personally transfer the citizen's legitimate data and apps to the new machine. Then leave with the old one. He should have had an immunity document with him clearly outlining that nothing he might see in the data transfer would ever be used as evidence nor would he ever tell anyone about any of it. Just to be thorough, they should have talked to his employer to get him the day off (with full

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ukyoCE (106879)

        C'mon, the guy came to the police voluntarily to give them back their camera and confidential pictures. They should have sent an IT guy to his house to sit *with* the guy at his computer, delete all of the pictures (if they weren't already), verify they're deleted, check any media nearby (that would be confiscated in an overreaction), and run a wiping utility to fully wipe the pictures from the hard drive.

        Would have taken an hour and not scared citizens away from cooperating with the police to avoid losing

    • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mpe (36238) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:08AM (#25204825)
      This is why you never talk to the police.

      Better off to do as the person who found the stuff on the train did. Go to the press ensure that any handover is as public as it can possibly be.
    • Re:Fuck the police (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich.annexia@org> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:18AM (#25204939) Homepage

      This is why you never talk to the police.

      Sadly you may be right, although for all the wrong reasons. In civilised parts of the world we recognise that society exists because of cooperation, and that includes cooperation with the police.

      Unfortunately in cases like these, the police are undermining that cooperation. As another example, it's rumoured that if you report child porn on the internet to the relevant authorities in the UK, you should expect a visit from the coppers and all your computer equipment to be taken away. Which is why I wouldn't report this, even though child abuse is a terrible thing and it should be reported.

      Now, if I found "terror photos" (whatever they are) on a second hand laptop or camera, I won't be reporting that either. Just scrubbing any info off the device and get on with my life.

      Rich.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by widman (1107617)
      You deserve 100+ Insightful.

      Always keep your mouth shut and talk to a lawyer first.

      http://www.boingboing.net/2008/07/28/law-prof-and-cop-agr.html [boingboing.net]

      Direct video links:
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865 [google.com]
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912&ei=z0PiSIiyLomuiALBpMSfCw [google.com]

    • by Candid88 (1292486)

      "This is why you never talk to the police."

      Or sadly these days, trust the accuracy of many Slashdot summaries.

      The summary makes it sound like his house was raided, which hardly seems to be the case (especially since they compensated him for the equipment they took).

      I remember a day when every second article wasn't wildly exaggerated to make them sound more newsworthy.

    • That would have been a bad day to have mp3s or questionable porn on his computer!
  • by Rand Race (110288) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:31AM (#25204373) Homepage

    George Smiley would whip out a light-saber and... oh, wrong Alec Guiness film. Sorry.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:32AM (#25204383) Homepage Journal

    Just how many people buy hard drives just to mine them for data?
    1. Buy the drives on Ebay
    2. Scan drives for valuable data.
    3. Sell cleaned drives on Ebay and sell data to the highest bidder.
    4. Profit.

    • by JustKidding (591117) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:38AM (#25204459)
      With just 2 people doing this, there would be a whole lot of clean drives going back and forth between them. You need something like a TTL to prevent a complete DoS.
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Not to hard just don't drives twice from anybody that sells you clean drives.
        Not too hard.
        Could also be a sting operation. Put out drives with flagged credit card and bank account info on them. Heck the FBI could populate all the drives get ride of with flagged data and just wait.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Not to hard just don't drives twice from anybody that sells you clean drives.

          I accidentally the whole drive?

    • by kestasjk (933987) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:44AM (#25204547) Homepage
      Slashdot articles may give the impression that every piece of 2nd hand electronics contains nuclear silo passcodes or celebrity porno tapes but I don't think that's actually the case
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Probably not but most people I know don't bother to clean their drives before they dispose of them.
        Buying old kit on Ebay will probably get you more than a few HDs that have data on them.

      • by oztiks (921504)

        Yeah true, it might bit of hit and miss affair.

        Though, consider obsolete company computers for example or take the Leehmans debacle as an even better one. 1.5 billion dallors worth of technology has to be sold off somehow. I wonder how strict the receivers will be with that data.

        Considering that there are plenty of bankrupt companies out there I'd would be interested to know the privacy obligations and how many of them are tech savvy enough to invest energy in carrying out the format / recovery process for

      • by oztiks (921504)

        Slashdot articles may give the impression that every piece of 2nd hand electronics contains nuclear silo passcodes or celebrity porno tapes but I don't think that's actually the case

        One thing i do find worrying is the fact that you compare sex tapes and nuclear bomb activation codes as being as equally important as each other.

        • by rugatero (1292060)

          One thing i do find worrying is the fact that you compare sex tapes and nuclear bomb activation codes as being as equally important as each other.

          Well at least if the codes fall into the wrong hands, the tapes will distract them before they set off the bomb.

        • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:26PM (#25205915) Journal
          That depends on your definition of "important". If by "important" you mean, has the most value to the person who received it, then I'd personally have to go with sex vids/pics. Those I can use right away, as often as I want, and then trade to get more nudie pics.

          WTF am I going to use nuclear bomb codes for? I'm no longer in the nuclear blackmail business, and all my former henchmen are employed elsewhere. Mostly at Oracle and Microsoft. We still send each other xmas cards, and talk about getting together for a reunion, but it's hard to get all our schedules to line up, especially since most of us have young families now anyway. Back in the day when we were all single, it was easy to commit all our waking hours to work (building a massive underground fortress in a dormant volcano, etc.), but none of us really have the time anymore. Sigh. I guess you really can't go back to the glory days once they're gone.
  • by eln (21727) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:35AM (#25204413) Homepage

    I think an intelligence service selling a camera with highly sensitive classified data on it is just a little more serious than some local council leaving the password to their VPN on a router.

    I would expect small local agencies to either not have or ignore proper data scrubbing policies prior to selling old equipment, but national intelligence agencies? That's a whole different kettle of fish.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:16AM (#25204901)

      I would expect small local agencies to either not have or ignore proper data scrubbing policies prior to selling old equipment, but national intelligence agencies? That's a whole different kettle of fish.

      It is curious. It would be a safe bet that proper procedures exist to handle equipment like this. Obviously they weren't followed.

      I would even hazard to guess that not only were safe disposal procedures not followed, but a whole slew of other procedures covering proper equipment were also ignored. It wouldn't surprise me that this was a personal device used on-the-job due to convenience or necessity despite regulations against such use.

      Of course, that's just a wild guess. It could also be as mundane as lost / stolen equipment. Or mis-managed inventory that ended up in some government surplus lot. The scenarios are endless.

      It also highlights a personal pet peve of mine; policies are not protection. Too often they are given the air of risk mitigation when they are simply documents. Sure - they're good things to have around. You can't expect people to do things right if you can't tell them the right way of doing things. But so much infosec within the belly of such bureaucratic beasts seems to focus on merely generating and checking those policies. There is too little effort in actually implementing them - or improving the environment to limit actual risk.

      If this was, in fact, personal gear I would hazard to guess simply making it easier to get official government kit (with all the tracking and control such kit gets) would have eliminated this eventual leak.

    • by Albanach (527650)

      I would expect small local agencies to either not have or ignore proper data scrubbing policies prior to selling old equipment, but national intelligence agencies? That's a whole different kettle of fish.

      Kirklees Council had a budget of £1 billion ($1.8 billion US) last year. Perhaps your and I have different ideas of what's 'small' but I'd expect an organisation of that size to have proper disposal procedures in place.

  • The UK government has approved a 700 billion megabyte bailout to stop the Data Crunch causing the End of the Internet.

    Rather than just giving the data to those who have it already, the government is distributing everyone's information free [today.com]. "We feel that there is strong bipartisan support for a bottom-up data distribution initiative, such that everyone everywhere can share in the data generated and held by government," said a spokesman whose name was lost.

    Reports that Neo-Nazi organisations are asking for "

  • Note to self... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:38AM (#25204469) Homepage

    The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke; when they realised he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC.

    ... never do the police a favor in the UK.

    But then again, in the US they would have tasered him for no reason.

  • by SendBot (29932) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:39AM (#25204473) Homepage Journal

    I think the individual would have been better off (as in, not having his home raided and property taken) to have just given the data to wikileaks.

    In response to MI6's ineptitude, the authorities have attacked the innocent person attempting to help them.

    Remember kids, talking to police is not usually in your best interest. Be polite and complicit within your rights, but don't volunteer information.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by srjh (1316705)

      Presumably MI6 would be able to track down the camera, and hence the buyer, from the photos (then again, they were inept enough to release the camera to begin with, but I digress).

      Acting purely in self-interest, if this happened to me, I'd chuckle to myself quietly about the idiocy of government, delete the files and forget about the whole thing. In fact, if this is what any reasonable person would do while acting in their own interests, one has to wonder how under-reported the problem is.

    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:52AM (#25204645) Homepage Journal

      I think the individual would have been better off (as in, not having his home raided and property taken) to have just given the data to wikileaks.

      "Hey, our national security data turned up on Wikileaks! I wonder how it got there. Oh look, a serial number in the EXIF data. What'd we do with that camera anyway?"

      Basically, the poor guy was screwed. He reported the problem and suffered for it. If he didn't report it at all, an audit at MI6 might have turned up the problem and they would have confiscated everything he owned capable of storing the data, possibly including himself.

      If he'd followed your harebrained advice, he would probably be dead. Seriously, what part of "taunt the TLA" seems like a good idea to you?

      I feel badly for him. My sig is normally meant to be humorous.

      • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:04AM (#25204771) Journal

        And we all know since there's no specification for EXIF data [kodak.com] that someone who has a vested interest in removing it [wikileaks.org] would be unable [granneman.com] to [rlvision.com] figure [exifremover.com] it [colorpilot.com] out [opanda.com].

      • by SendBot (29932)

        Okay, admittedly, giving the data to wikileaks would be something that I would do given the situation, which is certainly not for everyone.

        I can't say what wikileaks would do to anonymize the data, but it's not that hard to cleanse exif data yourself.

        The intent is not to taunt the organizations responsible, but to punish them for their carelessness. Lessons learned the hard way tend to stick.

        Who said anything about taunting a TLA? I don't even know what that is. I don't taunt any police organization besides

        • Okay, admittedly, giving the data to wikileaks would be something that I would do given the situation, which is certainly not for everyone.

          But why? To prove the police right that citizens will do everything they can to endanger national security? Presumably the camera contained information that needed to stay secret. I understand your idea in general, but in this specific case I think it's bad to be handing out national secrets. In today's political environment, you'd likely be tried (and convicted) of treason, and rightly so.

          Who said anything about taunting a TLA? I don't even know what that is. I don't taunt any police organization besides purposefully seeking justice in a court of law or asserting my rights during an encounter.

          Well, sticking up for your rights and advocating publishing their secret data on the Internet. I can't possibly im

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It really sucks for all involved.

            These agencies do NOT want to accidentally leak information. This guy did NOT want to find this information on his camera. There is no need to 'punish' these organizations for the leaks. Trust me, they don't like it as much as you do, and they will investigate and correct why that happened. Publishing the data is perhaps the worst thing that anyone could possibly choose to do. It compromises the intelligence gathering, and puts people at risk. It is unfortunate that th

        • Nonono, you cant just clean the EXIF data.

          One also needs to alter the least significant bits by a random factor, else the TLA's will be able to match it to a specific CCD.

          Even using one of those programs that enter data via stenography into images would work, as they store data in the least significant bits. Just make sure to take input from /dev/urandom or from a semi-random source online for the stego source.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Yes it is very sad the way the handled this. This man should be considered a hero and be given respect and a reward. Hate to say it but even I will just delete the data if it happens to me.

    • I would have taken that information and anonymously contacted the people, to whom the information was related and given/sold it to them. But you have to be either very stupid or very smart about doing such a thing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rnelsonee (98732)

      I would have just given the data to MI6. Maybe it's because I'm overly supportive of the intelligence community as a whole due to the nature of my work, but I would think that intelligence officials should be the ones handling this data and would not feel weird about just calling them. This doesn't fall under under police duties, and unless the police have classifications, they shouldn't be handling the data. Obviously, it's 'out there' and the eBay buyer shouldn't be looking at it, but he obviously could

  • ... is that Mi6 is using a freaking Nikon Coolpix camera, and due to government procurement systems, probably paid $1000 for it...

    What's next, we see James Bond with a Hello Kitty umbrella?

  • No Good Deed... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:51AM (#25204635)

    ever goes unpunished.

    If someone comes to you, DO NOT attack them! Be nice, assist in getting any secret data purged, and sign a confidentiality agreement, and give the guy a nominal reward.

    Raiding the house of someone who does the right thing is a pretty strong incentive to never help out again, and a strong incentive for others to do so as well. It also feeds the radical opponents' propaganda machine with fresh fodder and lets them become the "persecuted good guys".

    So don't do it. Know who your friends are, and don't mess with them. Or they may stop being your friend.

    Western societies and governments have enough enemies already, and there is no need to create any more.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Yep pretty much. All this does is make sure that the next person will just post it to Flicker, Wikileaks, or just delete it.

      Should have been very nice, even grateful, did everything you suggested and offered him a nice reward on top of it. Then put the idiot that sold the camera in jail for 30 years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by soulsteal (104635)

      What the summary leaves out is that they seized his equipment and then "reportedly replaced the seized equipment, at a cost of £1,000." So it's not like they grabbed it and ran. If he got proper return on what was taken, then it doesn't sting so much. MI6 still look like idiots though.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by element-o.p. (939033)
        As has been mentioned many, many times above, the computer equipment is important, but it's the *data* on said equipment that contains the real value. Did they replace the data as well as the computer, or did they just provide him with a new computer? No matter how nice the machine, I for one would still be extremely pissed if all the photos of my family, the music I have written and recorded, ten years' worth of programming work, etc. were suddenly taken away and not replaced.

        As for everyone screaming
  • Incidents (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:53AM (#25204653)

    17 September 2008 The Insolvency Service. Laptop containing personal details of 385 former directors of insolvent companies has been stolen. Greater Manchester Police are investigating the burglary, which happened on 28 August. The Insolvency Service said 385 ex-company directors had been affected and also about 150 people with a connection to the firms. Information on the company directors included name, address, date of birth and occupation. No bank account details were held. In relation to the creditors, complainants and employees, the data included name, address, and bank account details in a small number of cases.

    16 September 2008.
    NHS memory stick found in street. An NHS trust has apologised after a computer memory stick, containing the confidential files of 200 patients, was found in a street. It stored a summary of medical histories and patients' national insurance numbers and addresses.

    Monday, 15 September 2008 18:19 UK.
    Police admit to lost data blunder. A police force has undertaken an urgent hunt for a computer memory stick after admitting it has been lost by an officer on duty. A police force has undertaken an urgent hunt for a computer memory stick after admitting it has been lost by an officer on duty.

    Monday, 15 September 2008 18:12 UK. Trust loses 18,000 staff records. Discs containing personal information on almost 18,000 NHS staff have gone missing from a north London hospital. Discs containing personal information on almost 18,000 NHS staff have gone missing from a north London hospital.

    10 September 2008 11:34 UK
    Up to 15,000 patients' data taken
    Computer back-up tapes containing personal information on up to 15,396 patients at a surgery have been stolen. "There are 15,396 patients registered at the surgery and potentially information on all of them could be on the tapes.

    27 August 2008 12:38 UK,
    Health board lost patients' data
    A health board has tightened its security measures after the loss of two memory sticks containing patient data.

    27 August 2008 12:05 UK Taxpayers' details found on eBay. A Leicestershire council is investigating a report that a computer containing taxpayers' personal details was sold on auction website eBay. Bank account numbers and sort codes of people in the Charnwood Borough Council area were reportedly found after the equipment was sold for £6.99. Information including bank account numbers, telephone numbers, mothers' maiden names and signatures of customers of American Express, NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) were reportedly found on the computer.

    Thursday, 21 August 2008 22:56 UK
    Company loses data on criminals

    A contractor working for the Home Office has lost a computer memory stick containing personal details about tens of thousands of criminals. The lost data includes details about 10,000 prolific offenders as well as information on all 84,000 prisoners in England and Wales.

    9 August 2008 13:06 UK
    BBC sorry after TV data is stolen
    The BBC has apologised after a memory stick containing the personal details of hundreds of children who had applied to take part in a TV show was stolen. Deverell also informed parents they could call a free helpline if they had concerns about the lost data - which included names, addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers.

    29 July 2008 09:42 UK
    Missing laptop data not 'at risk'
    A laptop computer from the Citizens Advice Bureau in Coleraine has gone missing. The details of about 7,000 people were on the computer of an outreach worker from the voluntary group which was mislaid in transit.

    Wednesday, 23 July 2008 14:17 UK
    Surgery patients' data is stolen
    Information on more than 3,500 patients at a surgery in Greater Manchester has been stolen, health bosses have said.

    22 July 2008 20:56 UK
    'Spying' requests exceed 500,000
    More than 500,000 official "spying" requests for private communications data such as telephone records were made last year, a report says. Police, security services and other p

  • Police = morons (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:54AM (#25204665)

    > The buyer immediately went to the police, who initially treated it as a joke; when they realised he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC.

    So basically he got punished for doing the right thing. I bet that will make other people want to tell the police too *NOT*.
    Police = morons.

  • the lesson (Score:3, Funny)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @10:55AM (#25204687)

    Next time, send the data anonymously to Wikileaks.

  • The police not only failed to have him shipped off to Guantanamo Bay, they actually replaced his £1,000 computer that they had seized it as evidence?

  • kill the messenger (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @11:03AM (#25204765) Homepage Journal

    That's how you make friends and teach people to trust you. A guy wants to help out and you punish him, instead of treating him like the friend of law enforcement that he wants to be.

  • Good deal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lucas123 (935744) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @12:14PM (#25205719) Homepage
    He got a Nikon Coolpix camera for £17? Holy crap. What a great deal.
  • Profit!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday September 30, 2008 @02:48PM (#25207783)

    1) Sell camera on ebay
    2) Wait for buyer to report MI6 photos
    3) Steal Camera back
    4) PROFIT!!!
    5) Go to 1

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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