Officer lost USB stick with Afghan mission data
2 February 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch military is red-faced following the revelation it has let confidential information slip through its fingers – twice.
The military recently had to own up to losing a USB memory stick with sensitive information. Then the news division of broadcaster RTL reported on Wednesday it had come into possession of top-secret information from a second misplaced memory stick.
This information was compiled by the military about Afghanistan. Parliament is expected to give the green light on Thursday to the controversial deployment of 1,200 Dutch troops to southern Afghanistan.
A captain in the Air Force, who had spent five months in Afghanistan, left the unencrypted USB stick in a rented car two weeks ago. Two young men found it and copied the contents onto a computer.
The USB stick was returned to the captain a week ago and the finders received a gift certificate in return. The captain, according to RTL, said nothing about the incident and it only came to light when RTL received the information.
It included highly-sensitive recommendations on how Dutch troops should react when confronted with aggression. It also contained details on reconnaissance missions and security measures for Defence Minister Henk Kamp.
Kamp said on Thursday afternoon the captain has been discharged from the military.
This incident bears striking similarities to one last year when an employee of the intelligence service left computer disks in a lease car.
The disks included information about the sex life of murdered populist politician Pim Fortuyn. Crime journalist Peter R. de Vries featured the disks on his television programme.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) announced on Wednesday De Vries would not be prosecuted for revealing State secrets.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news