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MI6 Terror Photos, Data Accidentally Sold On Ebay

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the that's-ar15-for-ordinary-citizens dept.

Security 317

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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Fuck the police (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204363)

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:Fuck the police (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204403)

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 (5, Informative)

slug359 (533109) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204427)

4th paragraph:

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

Re:Fuck the police (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204529)

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:Fuck the police (0, Redundant)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204431)

From TFA:

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

Re:Fuck the police (5, Informative)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204463)

His computer was seized as he downloaded the files, The Register [theregister.co.uk] has more info.

Re:Fuck the police (5, Insightful)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204603)

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.

Re:Fuck the police (2, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204789)

That's what over-the-network backup and offsite storage are for.

Re:Fuck the police (0, Flamebait)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204815)

Would be funny if the pc turned out to have child porn on it.

Re:Fuck the police (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204849)

If it didn't before, I'm sure it does now. I mean they do have to justify seizing the computer after all. The fact that the person reported it to the police before there were any suspicions clearly can't indicated honesty.

Re:Fuck the police (2, Interesting)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204919)

ahh the old "subconsiously I wanted to be caught"

how remiss of me

Re:Fuck the police (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205033)

"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)

Re:Fuck the police (5, Funny)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205037)

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.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205047)

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

Offering them to other people is ....

Re:Fuck the police (4, Insightful)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205145)

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/

His computer was classified (2, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204921)

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 (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205055)

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

Re:Fuck the police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204409)

Take your pick of whichever three letter agency you want, someone is going to make sure you aren't planning on leaking any more info. It's called 'containment'.

Re:Fuck the police (4, Insightful)

JustKidding (591117) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Fuck the police (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204527)

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.

Re:Fuck the police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204633)

If you read the article, THEY DID. They bought him a new PC and camera, 1000.00 worth.

Sheesh. Sounds like he got a pretty good deal to me!

Re:Fuck the police (1)

lyml (1200795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204757)

You know, 1000$ wouldn't replace my computer, let alone if I had a good camera system aswell.

Not to mention the emotional value of all the data on my computer, that's just priceless.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204955)

It was 1000 GBP, which is 1800 USD.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

ubercam (1025540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204959)

Good thing it was £1000 then. But I do agree that the data is the most important part.

As for the camera, he bought a Nikon Coolpix... hardly a "good camera system". They could have just given him the exact same one back, minus the memory card!

Re:Fuck the police (5, Funny)

sharperguy (1065162) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Fuck the police (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204537)

Also, why in the *heck* would they do it that way if they EVER wanted people to "do the right thing" and turn things like this over to them???

It's stupid. Honest and innocent people shouldn't be afraid to talk to the police, but incidents like this will cause such people to avoid helping law enforcement in the future.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204685)

Your definition of "police" in wonderful. But outdated.

It's like in Sim City. You could choose "Good" or "Bad" police. We have mostly the bad kind nowadays. Bad, as in "they are the enemy of the people, and the enforcers of the will of a minority".

Interestingly not communism itself was evil, but this kind of practical reality, that emerged from a government that refused to do the last step and dissolve itself to hand the power to the people, after creating the base for it.

So we're very close to those aspects of communist/dictator states, that we really hate. Great... I want to move to another country. But which?

Re:Fuck the police (1)

Knuckles (8964) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204853)

I agree in principle, but two points:

  • Do you have real-life examples of the "good police" actually in existence?
  • According to Marxist theory (whatever you may think of it), the socialist state is indeed supposed to dissolve itself in time, but it's hard to argue that any existing socialist state ever reached the stage that would trigger this dissolution

Re:Fuck the police (5, Funny)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204627)

He should leave negative feedback. That will teach them a lesson.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

PeKbM0 (1372511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204663)

Correct. You give them to the BBC. The BBC then give them to the police and the story gets a couple minutes on the next Ten o Clock news.

Re:Fuck the police (2, Insightful)

ubercam (1025540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205061)

Yeah, and what happens if one of these named terrorists has a buddy who works for the BBC, or better yet, works there himself?

One would think that a terrorist cell coming across detailed intel on their daily movements and stuff would be like gold to them. They would then know exactly what the gov't knows about them, and what they don't know. At the same time, they know how the gov't tracks them and all kinds of other details that might help them evade surveillance efforts on their group.

Think of how many people at the BBC actually get to look at that stuff, make copies, sell it to other news outlets, etc? I'm sure it would go around the office a few times.

Re:Fuck the police (4, Insightful)

Xiroth (917768) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Fuck the police (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204889)

You never saw Brazil did you?

Re:Fuck the police (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204909)

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:Fuck the police (2, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205005)

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:Fuck the police (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204787)

NIGGER GOT IT BAD CAUSE IM BROWN.

( lkjlkjl lkj llkjl gi klk lower caps)

Re:Fuck the police (4, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204939)

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:Fuck the police (2, Interesting)

widman (1107617) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205053)

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]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Tard (3, Funny)

Rand Race (110288) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204373)

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

So I just have to wonder. (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204383)

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.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (5, Funny)

JustKidding (591117) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204541)

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:So I just have to wonder. (4, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204547)

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

Re:So I just have to wonder. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204625)

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.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204705)

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 each computer they have to sell.

Lastly, consider that if its not a formatted properly obtaining data from a fat partition isn't exactly impossible.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204913)

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.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205131)

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.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204961)

Sure, but you can use some discretion. For example, if you buy a number of hard drives from a company going out of business, you're probably going to find something interesting.

Re:So I just have to wonder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25205137)

Right, it's nuclear silo passcodes and celebrity porno tapes - assuming that male soldier work in the silos.

Same thing? Really? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204413)

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.

Re:Same thing? Really? (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Same thing? Really? (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205157)

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.

this was good!!!lol (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204415)

this was good!!!lol
Dragonball z Episodes [z-revolution.net]

WTH (1)

hannson (1369413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204425)

IIRC most banks destroy their hard drives before throwing them away. Why are government agencies selling used devices in the first place instead of destroying them? For friggin £17? WTH

Re:WTH (1)

Shadow_139 (707786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204475)

Most just dump them in a skip with out wiping anything.... Dumper-Diving FTW

Re:WTH (2, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204845)

I used to work as a tech consultant for a mortgage company. They told me that, since they did government loans, the FTC required them to comply with certain privacy standards. Until I came along they were just deleting all the data on the HD's and then selling old computers. When I showed them how deleted does not necessarily mean gone, they were shocked. Then they started smashing them with hammers and throwing them away. The next time I came by I told them how they could use certain utilities to really the data and avoid tossing the drive in a landfill.

Re:WTH (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204977)

I work at a University where we do medical research. All of our old hard drives get shredded into little metal bits in a big industrial shredder. Sometimes doing a zero wipe isn't good enough...
Although one department has a huge electromagnet that has been used to make some old drives unreadable (damn Computer Science geeks).

The data bailout package (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204429)

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 "lost" data disks with the name and address of every immigrant in the country are as yet unconfirmed.

Note to self... (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204469)

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.

Re:Note to self... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204543)

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

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

You are badly misinformed. American police do NOT ever, under any circumstances taser people for no reason.

They taser them because it is funny.

Re:Note to self... (2, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204891)

The sad thing is - I think this is insightful instead of funny.

Re:Note to self... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25205113)

Tasers work!

Just the other day there was a man on a ledge and the police were afraid he'd jump.
He wouldn't come down, so they Tasered him!

He came down quickly after that, I assure you. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080925/world/stun_gun_death_2 [yahoo.com]

Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (4, Insightful)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204473)

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:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (3, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204573)

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.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204645)

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.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204759)

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.

What makes you think that either would have happened? They let the camera out. An audit would just have shown the camera missing and assume the camera was emptied or something. They would have never found the guy.

This is government we're talking about here - they WISH they were as adept as 007.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204941)

An audit would just have shown the camera missing and assume the camera was emptied or something.

When in your entire life have you ever dealt with the government and had them assume that everything was alright?

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (3, Informative)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204771)

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] .

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204839)

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 purposefully seeking justice in a court of law or asserting my rights during an encounter.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205035)

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 imagine how that would piss them off.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25205079)

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

Who said they had to use exif data to track the camera down?

It would certainly help, but there's a good chance they can figure out who at MI6 is responsible (and therefore where the camera is now, and who deserves a visit from Constable Friendly) from the content of the images.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204651)

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.

Re:Talking to the Police is a bad Idea (1)

rfrenzob (163001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204777)

While the raid was probably overkill, according to the article the police have replaced his £1,000 of equipment at their expense.

better yet (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205199)

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.

That was harsh. (-1, Redundant)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204489)

...when they realized he was serious, they swooped on his home and seized his camera and PC.

I hope they intend to replace it.

Re:That was harsh. (3, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204703)

I hope they intend to replace it

TFA: "The police have reportedly replaced the seized equipment, at a cost of £1,000."

Re:That was harsh. (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204733)

I hope they intend to replace it.

I hope posters would occasionally RTFA or one of the 15 (out of 39) posts on this page that mention that they did replace it.

Disappointment all round.

The value of things... (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204515)

Many Slashdotters might be readjusting their tinfoil hats upon hearing this news, but to me it just says that the governments of Western nations are not engaged in some great conspiracy to do outrageous action $X. They are, however, staggeringly incompetent and that if any individual or business had treated similar information with such shocking indifference they would have been sent to jail.

I mean, could you imagine the charges that would be laid upon some civilian if she had a laptop with confidential (unencrypted, unprotected) information about the War of Terror onboard... which was leaked in a such a manner as this? Collusion with the enemy, no-fly lists... the works. Probably easier to just ship 'em straight to Cuba.

How dare you... (0, Offtopic)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204553)

Facebook, a userbase not exactly famous for its dedication to privacy, security and discretion.

When did it become acceptable to dare criticize facebook on slashdot? Considering how many front page articles were devoted to facebook games, I thought it was the new golden child around here.

Granted, here we are criticizing the users of facebook, and not facebook itself. Still I am surprised to not see a large outcry from those who sing the praises of the great facebook.

Re:How dare you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204617)

Granted, here we are criticizing the users of facebook, and not facebook itself. Still I am surprised to not see a large outcry from those who sing the praises of the great facebook.

LARGE OUTCRY - I sing the praises of the Great Facebook!

Teh Facebookz is teh awesome liek me and mi friendz liek partay and put bumper stickurz on teh profiel!

The name is Bond. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204571)

Mohammed Achmed Kalil Bond.

What is the world coming to? (1)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204599)

The police actually replaced his £1,000 computer after the seized it as evidence? Apparently Bush's foreign relations need to do better work. Here in the States he would have been shipped off to Gitmo, never mind the seized computer.

What's really sad.... (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204605)

... 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... (5, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:No Good Deed... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204855)

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:No Good Deed... (2, Informative)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205003)

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.

Incidents (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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 public bodies made requests for billing details and other information.

18 July 2008 18:52 UK
MoD admits loss of secret files
More than 100 USB memory sticks, some containing secret information, have been lost or stolen from the Ministry of Defence since 2004, it has emerged. The department also admitted that more than 650 laptops had been stolen over the past four years - nearly double the figure previously claimed. But the MoD insisted its policies were "generally fit for purpose". The Mod said it has no idea on when, where and how the memory sticks were lost. The official total is now 658 laptops stolen, with another 89 lost. Just 32 have been recovered.

17 July 2008 15:53 UK
MOTs data viewed by India workers
IT workers in India were given access to a database of all vehicles subject to an MOT in Britain, the Department for Transport has confirmed. The data included details of 65,000 MOT testers and 16,500 people authorised to examine vehicles for MOTs, but no information on vehicle owners. Ministers said Siemens staff testing software could view but not save, amend or copy the information. The Tories said the government lacked "basic competence... with our data".

17 July 2008 06:43 UK
NHS trusts lose confidential data
More than 150 incidents of data being lost at NHS trusts across Wales have put patient and staff details at risk. Among the examples over a three year period, patient details from an entire children's ward in Wrexham were found on a piece of paper in a puddle. In another revealed by BBC Wales after Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, a highly confidential child protection file was sent to the wrong address. Health Minister Edwina Hart said she was "quite horrified" by the findings. Its other cases included a senior nurse finding a sheet of paper lying in a puddle that had "confidential and sensitive information", including the names and diagnosis of every patient in the children's ward at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in March 2006. Cardiff and Vale had six computers - mainly laptops - stolen between December 2005 and November 2007. Cardiff and Vale had six computers - mainly laptops - stolen between December 2005 and November 2007. Confidential personal information also went missing by mail, fax and courier from Velindre NHS Trust. North West Wales NHS Trust reported 10 incidents of patient information being seen by others due to "clerical errors". Carmarthenhire NHS Trust had 24 security breaches - mainly thefts of staff wallets and purses - though three laptops were also stolen.

16 July 2008 16:42 UK. The police inquiry into the loss of data discs containing the details of 25 million people cost £473,544, the government has revealed. The two discs, containing child benefit records, were lost after being sent by post last year and were never found.

, 15 July 2008 17:54 UK
Warning over phone calls database
A central database holding details of everyone's phone calls and emails could be a "step too far for the British way of life", ministers have been warned.But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said "lines must be drawn" to defend "fundamental liberties". But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said "lines must be drawn" to defend "fundamental liberties". The government says the growth of the internet means changes must be made to the way communications are intercepted in order to combat terrorism and crime.

11 July 2008 21:22 UK
Scrutiny call after files found
Calls have been made for all abandoned Scottish hospital buildings to be examined, after private patient data was found at a disused site in Carluke. BBC Scotland revealed that X-rays marked with patients' names, photographs and other paperwork were found at the derelict Law Hospital.

11 July 2008 14:24 UK
Files found in abandoned hospital
Confidential patient information has been left lying in an abandoned hospital in Lanarkshire, BBC Scotland can reveal. X-rays marked with patients' names, photographs and other paperwork were found scattered at Law Hospital in Carluke, which closed in 2001.

8 July 2008 15:45 UK
Surgery loses patient data tape
A tape containing the records of more than 11,000 patients has been lost by a GP practice in Greater Manchester. The magnetic tape contains duplicates of current and old patient details at Whitaker Lane Practice in Prestwich.

4 July 2008 16:58 UK
Health bosses order data amnesty
Health bosses have ordered a data amnesty after an employee lost personal information of 137 patients. Health bosses have ordered a data amnesty after an employee lost personal information of 137 patients. Health bosses have ordered a data amnesty after an employee lost personal information of 137 patients. The letters cover details of patients in the central Edinburgh from 2006.

3 July 2008 16:39 UK

Health worker loses patient data
A health worker with NHS Lothian has admitted losing a memory stick containing the personal information of 137 patients. Copies of letters sent to GPs over two years had been stored on the device. It stressed that the worker had breached regulations prohibiting the storing of NHS information on personal portable computing devices. It stressed that the worker had breached regulations prohibiting the storing of NHS information on personal portable computing devices.

3 July 2008 13:13 UK ID card fingerprint errors fear
Mismatched or unclear fingerprints could hamper the government's £5.6bn ID card scheme, independent experts warn. The Biometric Assurance Group (BAG) says officials may struggle to cope with the number of false matches, which could run into tens of thousands. Everyone applying for a passport from 2010/11 will have to submit to a digital fingerprint scan, with the prints to be stored on a database. They will then have a choice of a passport or ID card which the government says will help them to prove their identity when challenged by the police, border officials or in some commercial transactions such as with banks. Any false matches - which could result in the wrong person being arrested or prevented from entering the country - will be dealt with manually. In its annual report for 2007, published this week, the BAG suggests the government has underestimated how much time and effort this will take. It says dealing with mistakes - called "exceptional handling" - will be a "large part" of the National Identity Scheme's work.

30 June 2008 15:57 UK
Patient files stolen with laptop
A laptop computer containing the personal details of several thousand patients has been stolen from the car of a senior hospital manager. The machine was stolen on 18 June from a car belonging to a Colchester University Hospital manager which had been parked in Edinburgh, Scotland. Details on it taken include patient names, postcodes and treatment plans.

25 June 2008 21:34 UK
TfL card data sharing criticised
The Information Commissioner's Office has criticised Transport for London for "collecting data without a clear purpose" for the children's photocard. From June Transport for London (TfL) made it mandatory for children aged between 11 and 18 to carry an Oyster photocard in order to gain free travel. But some parents have raised concerns given that TfL admits application data will be shared with its subsidiaries. TfL said it needed such information to prevent anti-social behaviour. The company took "the security of personal data extremely seriously", it said. Police regularly use information on the adult Oyster card system to get details about passenger movements. BBC London has learned that in the past year they made at least 3,000 requests for information. Rachel Rolfe, a mother who objects to the practice, said: "I don't think that children need ID cards, once your information is out there you can never get it back. And I think you can't protect it." A spokesperson for the ICO said: "It is not clear whether young people are really being offered a genuinely free choice here. "We have some concerns that the information provided to young people about Zip cards does not clearly state why the personal information is being collected, how it will be used and how long it will be retained.

, 25 June 2008 18:40 UK
No progress finding lost 999 disc
Details of almost 900,000 calls to the Scottish Ambulance Service are still missing, Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has told parliament. It emerged earlier this week that a portable data disc had been lost while being transported to Manchester by the courier firm TNT. The disc included the names of some patients, addresses of incidents and phone numbers received in calls to the service over the past two years.

25 June 2008 14:52 UK
Tougher data rules for Whitehall Tougher rules aimed at keeping people's personal records private are to be introduced in government departments.
Sir Gus said: "Although no organisation, public or private, can ever guarantee that it will never make a mistake, I believe the measures we are announcing today will ensure that the public can be assured we are taking the necessary measures to keep people's data secure."

23 June 2008 02:50 UK
Firms 'give out' customer details
Businesses are giving out personal and confidential details about customers to third parties in a bid to boost sales, an internet security firm has claimed. StrongMail said a fifth would give out credit card information and 7% would disclose customers' sexual orientation.

18 June 2008 15:40 UK
Six laptops stolen from hospital
Six laptops containing information about 20,000 patients have been stolen from a south London hospital. Patient information kept on the laptops includes brief medical notes, names, dates of birth and postcodes. The hospital accepts the data should not have been stored on portable computers and has written to every patient to apologise.

17 June 2008 20:45 UK
Blears PC loss - officials blamed
Information on a computer stolen from Communities Secretary Hazel Blears' office had been sent in breach of data security rules, it has emerged. The Communities and Local Government department admitted its officials had "not fully" complied with guidance on handling sensitive data. The computer contained a combination of constituency and government information relating to defence and extremism.

SEPTEMBER 2008: JUSTICE STAFF DETAILS The government confirmed that a portable hard drive holding details of up to 5,000 employees of the justice system was lost in July 2007. The details of employees of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, including prison staff, were lost by a private firm, EDS. The details of employees of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, including prison staff, were lost by a private firm, EDS.

The details of employees of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, including prison staff, were lost by a private firm, EDS. The details of employees of the National Offender Management Service in England and Wales, including prison staff, were lost by a private firm, EDS. It also held personal details of about 10,000 prolific offenders.

JULY 2008: MEMORY STICKS AND LAPTOPS The Ministry of Defence confirmed that 121 computer memory sticks and more than twice as many laptops than previously thought have been lost or stolen in the past four years. Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth gave a written statement to parliament saying 121 USB memory devices had gone astray - five of which contained secret data. And in a parliamentary written answer, Defence Secretary Des Browne said 747 laptops had been stolen - 400 more than originally reported. Of those, 32 have been recovered so far.

JUNE 2008: TERROR DOCUMENTS A senior intelligence officer from the Cabinet Office was suspended after documents were left on the seat of commuter train from London Waterloo. A passenger later handed them to the BBC. The seven-page file, classified as "UK Top Secret", contained a report entitled "Al-Qaeda Vulnerabilities" and an assessment of the state of Iraq's security forces. Cabinet Minister Ed Miliband said there had been a "clear breach" of security rules, which forbid the removal of such documents from government premises. But Mr Miliband said national security did not seem to be "at risk".

PRIL 2008: MCDONALD'S LAPTOP An Army captain's laptop was taken from under his chair as he ate in a McDonald's, near the Ministry of Defence's Whitehall headquarters. The MoD said the data on the laptop was not sensitive, and was fully encrypted. This is the latest MoD laptop theft to be made public and it came after the government tightened the rules on employees taking computers out of work.

JANUARY 2008: MILITARY RECRUITS A laptop computer belonging to a Royal Navy officer was stolen from car in Edgbaston, Birmingham. It contained the personal details of 600,000 people who had expressed an interest in, or applied to join, the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and the RAF. It contained data including passport numbers, National Insurance numbers and bank details. Defence Secretary Des Browne later admitted the inquiry into the loss of the Royal Navy officer's laptop uncovered two similar thefts since 2005. At the time, Dr Liam Fox, shadow defence secretary, said 68 MoD laptops had been stolen in 2007, 66 in 2006, 40 in 2005 and 173 in 2004.

DECEMBER 2007: DRIVING TEST CANDIDATES The details of three million candidates for the UK driving theory test went missing in the US. Names, addresses and phone numbers - but no financial information - were among the details stored on a computer hard drive, which belonged to a contractor working for the Driving Standards Agency. The information was sent electronically to contractor Pearson Driving Assessments in Iowa and the hard drive was then sent to another state before being brought back to Iowa, where it went missing.

NOVEMBER 2007: CHILD BENEFIT RECORDS HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) lost two computer discs containing the entire child benefit records, including the personal details of 25 million people - covering 7.25 million families overall. The two discs contained the names, addresses, dates of birth and bank account details of people who received child benefit. They also included National Insurance numbers. They were sent via internal mail from HMRC in Washington, north-east England, to the National Audit Office in London on 18 October, by a junior official, and never arrived. The Metropolitan Police were informed of the loss in November and extensive searches began. In December, a reward of £20,000 was offered for the return of the two discs, but they were never recovered.

14 June 2008 13:09 UK
Police data 'secure' after theft
Avon and Somerset Police said it is confident the force computer network is "very secure" and security around its computer systems is effective. The assurance follows the theft of a laptop computer used by deputy chief constable, Rob Beckley, from a car in London on Wednesday afternoon.

8 June 2008 11:17 UK
ID cards 'could threaten privacy'
The government should limit the data it collects on citizens for its ID card scheme to avoid creating a surveillance society, a group of MPs has warned. The home affairs select committee called for proper safeguards on the plans for compulsory ID cards to stop "function creep" threatening privacy. It wants a guarantee the scheme will not be expanded without MPs' approval.

21 May 2008
CPS criticised over DNA data disc
An inquiry has found "significant shortcomings" in the Crown Prosecution Service's handling of DNA data linked to serious crimes abroad. Dutch police sent a disc, containing 2,159 DNA profiles from crime scenes, to the CPS in January 2007, so it could be checked against the UK's database. His report said the data was unexpectedly sent to the CPS, not the police, by ordinary business post and was not addressed to a particular department or individual. The inquiry found no evidence that the disc had been copied or ever left the building.

20 May 2008 12:08 UK
Confidential health records lost
Confidential health records of more than 38,000 patients have gone missing after a computer back-up tape was lost by a courier firm, an NHS trust said. The Isle of Wight's Sandown Health Centre sent its records to a specialist firm for its software to be checked. But the tape, containing records of patients dating back to July 1996, failed to arrive when it was sent back using courier firm City Link in March.

21 April 2008 00:17 UK
Customer data 'needs protection'
Companies and public bodies are not doing enough to protect customers' data, the UK's privacy watchdog and a major survey of security have said. The Information Commissioner said that the 94 security breaches reported to him last year was an "alarming" number. The survey of more than 1,000 firms suggested that almost 90% of them let staff leave offices with potentially confidential data stored on USB sticks. Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said of the 94 data breaches, two thirds were committed by government or other public sector bodies. Data had been recovered in only three of the 94 cases, he said.

13 April 2008 19:55 UK
Sensitive data 'lost by councils'
Personal data about members of the public has been lost or wrongly revealed by 13 London councils in the last year, a BBC survey has found. Some 23 councils replied to the freedom of information request, with more than half saying data had been lost, stolen or inadvertently disclosed. In one instance, sensitive information about children in care was stolen when a youth worker took files into a bar.

8 April 2008 09:41 UK
Personal data found by developers
Personal details of hundreds of people in Lincolnshire have been found in a council building being redeveloped. The documents which belong to East Lindsey District Council, included names, addresses and credit card details of residents. They were found by developer Richard Borthwick who is working on the Dunes Centre in Mablethorpe.

7 April 2008
HSBC loses customers' data disc
The HSBC banking group has admitted losing a computer disc with the details of 370,000 customers. The disc was lost four weeks ago after being sent by courier from the bank's life insurance offices in Southampton. The customers' details included their names, dates of birth, and their levels of insurance cover. "We are looking into it and basically it has got lost from A to B," said an HSBC spokesman. There are no financial details there in terms of banking details. There are no address details or anything like that," he added. As well as name, date of birth and value of the cover, the documents revealed only the customer's policy number and whether or nor the customer was a smoker.

7 April 2008
Probe into data files discovery
An investigation into the discovery of personal data in folders in a skip at an Aberdeen ice rink has been launched. The parents of young ice skaters said they were angry after the folders with names, addresses and dates of birth were found outside the Linx Ice Arena.

23 March 2008
Heathrow fingerprint plan probed. Plans to fingerprint passengers at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 are being probed by the data protection watchdog.The idea behind the fingerprinting is to make it impossible for a terrorist to arrive at Heathrow on a transit flight, then exchange boarding passes with a colleague in the departure lounge and join a domestic flight to enter the UK without being checked by immigration authorities.
But Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith told the Mail on Sunday: "We want to know why Heathrow needs to fingerprint passengers at all.

  14 March 2008
'Lax standards' on data security
The government has persistently failed to take data protection "sufficiently seriously," the Joint Committee on Human Rights has warned.Episodes such as the loss of child benefit discs containing 25m people's details were "symptomatic of lax standards," said MPs and peers. The report said this did not "inspire confidence" in controversial plans for a National Identity Register. The joint committee's report on data protection and human rights notes that it has pointed out its concerns on 18 previous occasions and suggests such lapses may break the Human Rights Act.

12 March 2008. Personal data breaches affecting thousands of people have been uncovered by BBC Scotland's Investigations Unit. The information was revealed through freedom of information requests to NHS boards, councils and police forces. These included lost patient notes, information on sex offenders and compromised payroll data. All the bodies said they took any breach or loss of information very seriously and urged their staff to report even minor incidents.

  6 March 2008
300,000 prescriptions lost by NHS
Thousands of prescription forms, carrying the names and addresses of patients, go missing every year as they are transported around the NHS.The government has admitted that almost 300,000 have been lost or stolen in England since 1997. In response to a Parliamentary Question from the Conservatives, Ms Primarolo said that between April 1997 and September last year, a total of 298,100 forms went missing in 220 separate incidents of loss or theft.

  5 March 2008
NHS in East publishes data loss The NHS in the East of England has started to publish information on any loss of data as part of its commitment to confidentiality and security. The three cases of missing data include a lost memory stick which mentioned 35 patients and printed information on 43 patients which was thrown in a bin.

  21 February 2008,
Call to scrap children's database
The government faces calls to scrap a database containing the details of every child in England after a report said it could never be secure.The report, by accountants Deloitte and Touche, was ordered after last year's missing data discs crisis.

  7 February 2008
Murder case notes, a gangster dossier and papers detailing threats to the UK were all found in Greater Manchester after being lost by the authorities. Documents relating to the recent murder of Mohammed Arif Iqbal were found in a city centre pub, while photographs of gang members were found under a bush.

  29 January 2008,
A stolen Ministry of Defence computer had the personal details of almost 60,000 Scots stored on it. he revelation came in a written parliamentary answer to SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP.The laptop, which was taken from a Royal Navy officer in Birmingham on 9 January, contained information about 600,000 people

26 January 2008.
'Double standard' on data safety
Concerns about data security have been raised after it emerged celebrities, Royals and MPs are blocked from submitting income tax returns online. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) admitted "high profile" individuals must submit forms by post because they are judged to require extra protection. But critics said equal treatment should apply to all 3m self-assessment users. Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "This is a completely unacceptable double standard."

, 25 January 2008,
M&S staff details left on laptop. Marks and Spencer has been found in breach of data protection rules after the theft of a laptop containing the personal details of 26,000 employees. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the data on the laptop, which was stolen from the home of an M&S contractor, was unencrypted.

  January 2008
Courier told to explain lost data
The Government has asked the courier firm TNT for a "full and urgent report" into how documents with personal details ended up in a road in Devon. The papers were found on Thursday by a motorist on a roundabout near Exeter.arl-Heinz Korzenientz picked up hundreds of documents with passport photocopies and benefit claims details. Secretary of State Peter Hain has ordered an immediate inquiry. TNT said it "deeply regretted" the temporary loss of the documents.

18 January 2008,
Lost medical data is kept secretUp to 4,000 patients at Stockport Primary Care Trust (PCT) have not been told their medical details have been lost, it has been revealed. A data memory stick holding patients' names, dates of birth, NHS numbers and GP details has been missing since December, the PCT said. Patients have not been informed as the PCT believes the information cannot be used by identity fraudsters.

17 January 2008, 15:41 GMT 17 January 2008, 15:41 GMT An investigation has been launched after an NHS hospital lost 20 years' worth of payroll data on its staff. Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup, south-east London, has informed police about the data, which was lost when a room was cleared for office space. The data, believed to include National Insurance details, relates to staff employed between 1974 and 1996.

10 January 2008, 17:26 GMT Vulnerable children's data stolen Nine laptops containing details of up to 63 vulnerable children have been stolen from a council's office. Thieves broke into Middlesbrough council's teaching and learning centre on Sunday night. The laptops were used by child workers and contained case files on children and their families. The council said the information was password protected with some encryption and did not believe the data included any personal financial information.

, 9 January 2008, 01:36 GMT
Police DNA data review launched. Nearly 40% of black men are on the DNA database he government has launched an inquiry into the way the national police DNA database is used to fight crime.The Human Genetics Commission will oversee the review of the running of the National DNA Database. The "citizen's inquiry" will see members of the public research whether it is right to store the DNA of people not charged or those who are acquitted.

  5 January 2008
Teachers 'put pupil data at risk'
Sensitive information on school pupils is being put at risk by staff who take it home with them, an IT firm says.Teachers in nearly half of England's primary schools back up pupil data on CDs and memory sticks, which they then take out of school, research suggests.A survey of 933 schools for school computing firm RM found only 1% of respondents were encrypting the data.

3 January 2008
Tougher data laws needed, say MPs. Reckless or repeated breaches of data security should become a criminal offence, a committee of MPs has said.Currently, government departments cannot be held criminally responsible for data protection breaches. But a report on the "truly shocking" loss of 25m people's personal details by HM Revenue and Customs, the Commons justice committee demands tougher laws.

  November 2007 - Revenue and Customs officials lost the personal details of 25 million people

  June 2008 - A computer was stolen from the office of Communities Secretary Hazel Blears and files on counter-terrorism were left on a train

  January 2008 - The MoD revealed that one of its laptops - containing the details of 600,000 people - was stolen from a car

  7 June 2006,
DNA database is shared overseas
Information from the UK's controversial DNA database is being given to foreign law agencies, it has emerged.The Home Office has revealed that other nations have made 519 requests for details from the database since 2004. All of the requests were granted and the Liberal Democrats fear there are not enough checks on the system. It emerged in January that 24,000 under-18s never cautioned, charged or convicted are on the database, which was established in 1995

Police = morons (3, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Facebook? (2, Insightful)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204667)

After my initial bafflement at the very notion MI6 was choosing Facebook to run recruitment ads, I see in the 2nd FA they also run recruit ads via radio and newspaper. I suppose I shouldn't be shocked, considering that even if they are more open than they have been historically along these lines, doesn't mean that the process of hiring is less stringent, or that they take undue risks during the hiring procedures. We know MI6 is there, so why not cast a wider net and get more potential hires?

the lesson (3, Funny)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204687)

Next time, send the data anonymously to Wikileaks.

What is this world coming to? (3, Insightful)

PhasmatisApparatus (1086395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204719)

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 (3, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25204765)

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.

expect victim to be arrested on child porn charges (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204817)

in 3..2..1..

4chan in your web cache sir? the partyvan awaits.

or maybe you went to liveleak? those jihad videos are "al qaeda training videos" which will get you charged with posession of documents useful to terrorists.

redtube? those thumbnails of girls of questionable ages are enough to get you on the sex offenders list and ruin your life.

New SOP for gov't agencies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25204987)

1) "Accidentily" sell electronics with classified documents on eBay.
2) ???
3) Seize buyer's possessions.
4) Profit!

Although I guess they could just skip step 2 and go straight to 3.

CAPTCHA: laundry (I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere..)

Not so unbelievable (1)

lazynomer (1375283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205095)

The average citizen does not really understand the importance of IT security and privacy. Therefore these topics are not adequately represented in politics, industry and administration. Therefore those responsible (or who should take responsibility) are - on average - at low risk to be punished for such blunders. We need better rational, critical thinking in the country. This is not something you pick up some day; the foundation must be laid in your education. Even if we improve the educational system right now, it will still take time. So the amazing string of blunders in the UK is not so unbelievable: It will get worse before it gets better.

For 17 pounds... (1)

bioradmeister (1308669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25205177)

how about nuking the memory card in the microwave, pitching it in the trash, and buying a new one?
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