Monday, June 18

Top-secret British data found in online purchase

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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.

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 the function of a digital camera’s “delete” button.

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

While the breach in Britain’s national security naturally led to an official investigation, the identities of the buyer and the bidder remain unknown.

Sunday Tribune Auctions

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