The shoebox-shaped device, designed to collect fingerprints and perform iris scans, is selling on eBay for $149,95. A German security researcher, Matthias Marx, bought it for $68, and when it arrived at his home in Hamburg in August, the portable machine reportedly contained more than the eBay listing promised.
The device's memory card contained the names, nationalities, photographs, fingerprints and iris scans of 2.632 people.
Most people in the database, which was reviewed by the New York Times, were from Afghanistan and Iraq. Many were known terrorists and wanted persons, but there were others who appeared to be people who had worked with the US government or simply been stopped at checkpoints.
Metadata on the device, called a Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit, or SEEK II, revealed it was last used in the summer of 2012 near Kandahar, Afghanistan. The device — a massive biometric data collection system built by the Pentagon years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — is a reminder that even though the United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq, the tools it built and the information it collected are still circulating. still.
Exactly how the device ended up from the battlefields of Asia2 to an online auction site is unclear. But the data it contains offers detailed descriptions of people with their photo and biometric data, and could be enough to target people who may not have been known to have worked with US military forces.
Imagine what could happen if the information fell into the wrong hands.
For these reasons, Mr. Matthias Marx did not publish the information online, but allowed a Times reporter in Germany to see it.
"Because we have not verified the information contained in the device, the department is unable to confirm the authenticity of the data or otherwise comment on it," said Brig.
Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, press secretary for the Department of Defense, said in a statement.
"The department requests that any devices believed to contain personally identifiable information be returned for further analysis," and gave an address of the Army's biometrics program director at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, where the devices could be sent.
Biometric data from SEEK II was collected in detention facilities, on patrols, during recruitment and the detonation of an improvised bomb. At the time when the device was last used in Afghanistan, the presence of the American army in the country was ending.
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The USA, throughout time, leaving battlefields (including Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc.) left behind "materials" (see helicopters, tanks, weapons and weapon systems, missiles and cannonballs, drones and military equipment of soldiers *) of value tens of billions, citing that: their transfer - back to the USA - is unprofitable.
So clearly, somewhere...between grenades and helicopters, between grenade launchers and tanks,...somewhere tools like the one presented would be "missed".
* Indicative and according to some publications (see translated Forbes study at https://www.capital.gr/forbes/3577640/ta-dora-pou-afisan-stous-talimpan-oi-ipa-feugontas-apo-to-afganistan ).
Questions – with self-explanatory answers:
a) who paid for all these "goodies"? The American taxpayer.
b) what will be the use of those who "remained" in the territories of Afghanistan? I'm afraid we'll soon find out since they are already a military superpower...
c) did the USA leave its weapons systems as a shield or according to a plan? And this - I'm afraid - will soon be answered (since I don't believe that NOT ONE logistics captain said: guys, let's pack them up and take them with us...
Reminder: Afghanistan is still "slightly below" Russia. So, how do you know? It can again be used as a "rebellious" area to be tamed by another John Rambo...
I wish you a happy new year, although for this, I have some reservations...