Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009

Everybody Say, "Redacted!"

There's nothing special about buying a used camera on eBay — unless that camera is previously owned by a British spy and still contains top-secret data. That's what happened last year to a 28-year-old British delivery man who unwittingly purchased the names, fingerprints and photos of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists from an MI6 agent who was apparently none too familiar with the digital camera's "delete" button. It wasn't until the winning bidder downloaded vacation photos from his newly acquired Nikon Coolpix that he discovered the previously clandestine contents — all of which were purchased for the bargain-basement price of $31. While the breach in national security led to an official investigation, the identities of both the buyer and the bidder remain unknown.