High­est bid wins top se­cret data

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - OBITUARIES -

THERE’S noth­ing spe­cial about buy­ing a used cam­era on eBay – un­less that cam­era was pre­vi­ously owned by a Bri­tish spy and it still con­tained top se­cret data.

That’s what hap­pened last year to a 28-year-old Bri­tish de­liv­ery man who un­wit­tingly pur­chased the names, fin­ger­prints and pho­to­graphs of sus­pected al-Qaeda ter­ror­ists from an MI6 agent who was ap­par­ently not fa­mil­iar with a dig­i­tal cam­era’s im­por­tant “delete” but­ton.

When the win­ning bid­der down­loaded hol­i­day pho­tos from his newly ac­quired Nikon, he dis­cov­ered the pre­vi­ously clan­des­tine con­tents – all of which he had bought for the bar­gain­base­ment price of $31 (about R170).

The breach in Bri­tain’s na­tional se­cu­rity led to an of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The buyer and bid­der have not been named. – Auc­tions Writer

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