MI6 screws up, sells top secret data on eBay

Does anyone know where we put that camera?

"Does anyone know where we put that camera? It's not here at MI6 headquarters."

The bad news is that Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, lost a camera with sensitive, top secret documents saved on it.  The good news is that it’s been found… by a guy who bought it for $31 on eBay.

Some of the files on the camera included names and academic records of suspected al-Qaida members, pictures of rocket launchers and missiles, and details of an encrypted computer program used by “intelligence” officials.  Wow.  Way to do your jobs, guys! 

Maybe their plan to recruit spies via Facebook isn’t so bad.  After all, any new people they bring in can’t possibly be any worse than their current employees, who seem to be par for the course in Her Majesty’s Government, which employs a surfeit of excellent public servants, as recent events display:

On Monday, prosecutors said a senior public official who left top secret intelligence assessments of al-Qaida and the security forces in Iraq on a London commuter train is due to face charges under the Official Secrets Act.

Last year, a civil servant lost computer disks containing the names, addresses and bank details of 25 million people, while in January, the Ministry of Defense said it had lost a laptop containing personal data on 600,000 recruits.

The Home Office said in August that a contractor had lost personal details of every prisoner in England and Wales.

We should bear cases like these in mind when considering whether to grant further powers to our governments.

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