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#498574 - 12/03/14 03:57 AM Police Lose Special Branch Flash Drive
Marty Offline

Major Police Security Breach Via Lost Special Branch Flash Drive

By now the whole world knows about the Edward Snowden files -the former NSA employee who revealed the inner workings of the entire United States surveillance apparatus. And he did it with the use of flash drives, those handy data storage devices that so many of us use to store work and personal data.

And tonight, one of these flash drives has caused an enormous security breach right here in Belize. 7News has learned that a flash drive belonging to a police officer in the Belize City Special Branch Office has made its way unto the streets. No one can say for sure whether the officer misplaced it or if it was stolen - but the loss is causing alarm in security circles.

And that's because it's got thousands of files, on gang activities, gang structures, gang assets and gang personalities, as well as policing strategies for gang suppression.

We have been permitted to see a few of the files from a civilian and we can understand the police department's reason for concern. We spoke with Commander of Special Branch, Superintendent Marco Vidal who told us he would not comment at this time. We do know an internal investigation is underway.

Of course, the question that arises is what is the police for keeping classified information on portable memory without encryption. We'll keep following the story.

Channel 7

#498613 - 12/04/14 03:57 AM Re: Police Lose Special Branch Flash Drive [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Lost Police Flash Drive Has Super Sensitive Information

More is known tonight about the flash drive, which was lost by a police officer attached to Special Branch. As we told you, the drive with thousands of files has found its way into civilian hands. The problem is that many of those files are sensitive – and tonight we know that as many of a hundred of them are what we would have to call “super-sensitive.”

We have learned that the drive contains what are known as “source sheets” – these are documents that the Special Branch keeps to compile details of confidential informants.

Former special branch officers tell us that there are strict rules against having these on any portable memory device – and that they should only be hand delivered in hard copy to the head of special branch.

But that protocol was grossly breached in this case – and the file is now out there in civilian hands, un-encrypted.

Police are conducting an internal investigation and working externally to try and get back the flash drive – but the worry now is not so much about the drive but whether copies have been made. With the super sensitive nature of the information police are aware that in the wrong hands – the dissemination of the information could have very grave implications.

Channel 7


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