In a world filthy with people who want to kill us, security has never been more important. Terrorists and other bad guys are endlessly creative and highly motivated, so even one little mistake on the part of the good guys can lead to world-ending disaster.
Unfortunately, those little mistakes get made all the time. Also, some huge, laugh-out-loud ridiculous ones.
#8. Al-Qaeda on the Train
Anyone who's ever rode the subway before will know that there's little to pass the time with while that homeless guy glares at you and whacks off under his trench coat. An unnamed English cabinet official decided that he was going to use this time effectively by catching up on government work. Good for him! It's nice to see tax dollars at work, right? Oh, did we mention that he was reading the government's Top Secret Al-Qaeda profile? And that said profile was left resting on a train seat?
Thank goodness for the lost and found.
Needless to say, while the official was presumably off leaving trade secrets and government intel in taxis and buses, a passenger on the train noticed the file with "Top Secret" printed on its cover and decided, as any good law-abiding citizen would, to hand it in to the local authorities. Wait, did we say local authorities? We meant the BBC, one of Britain's largest media outlets.
The Sun is a smaller outlet, but undeniably the better news source.
The BBC, possibly deciding that "for UK/US/Canadian and Australian eyes only" included them, read through enough of the reports to say that they would have been incredibly damaging had they fallen into the wrong hands. At that point, they most likely used the information to produce a sitcom that, in a few years, will be remade in the US to much greater (or lesser) success. That's just how foreign relations work.
#7. Japanese Military Porn
In what was either plain embarrassing, or just plain sexy, a Japanese officer in the defense force accidentally exposed Top Secret files about Japan's Aegis Destroyers in a porn swap. If you're unsure of how this debacle played out, basically, in return for pictures of chicks in Catholic school uniforms getting railed by gingers, someone unwittingly provided top secret information detrimental to the safety of Japan (and more porn).
"Top Secret? This is gonna be hot."
Japan has since launched a probe into the incident and America is offering to maybe join in on the probe also, you know, if Japan is in to that sort of thing. Oddly enough, after copying the information once, the porn and the Top Secret files were once again copied to another officer's computer, which leads us to wonder if maybe they were actually jacking it to the ship diagrams and blueprints also.
Admittedly, after a quick image search, we too found the turrets and the torpedoes oddly stimulating, but not in a weird way. More in an "if we were chicks we'd totally make it with a cannon" kind of way.
Besides an embarrassing and/or super sexy probe, the security breach could have led to a whole series of problems. The Aegis system, an advanced computer-based weapon's system that replaced the primitive shoot-and-hope-shit-blows-up system, could have been out for everyone else to copy. That would be no good.
Also, because "Aegis Destroyer" would make for an excellent dildo name, the chances of embarrassing porn parodies spawned from what should be thought of strictly as a killing machine soared through the roof.
#6. MI6 Sells Spy Camera on eBay
After buying a camera on eBay, a 28-year-old English postal worker found pictures of national interest mixed in with his own holiday pictures. The pics had been placed on the camera by the seller, presumably an intelligence agent who had accidentally sold his camera with pictures of terrorist leaders, missiles, rockets, fingerprints and to top it off, a detailed document relating to a Top Secret encrypted computer network used by field agents.
Our attempts to find the same were less successful.
Granted, pictures of terrorists and fingerprints and stuff isn't going to bring the world to its knees, but damn, that encrypted computer network info could have been bad times. If that info went public, for every British agent using the system to report real intelligence there would have been at least another 10 people on the system ready to call him a "newfag" within seconds of logging in.
Anyway, several interrogations later, MI6 and MI5 (kind of like the US version of CIA and CIB) were able to establish that the postal worker who bought the camera had not been snapping pictures of terrorist leaders while holidaying in the USA and, presumably, that MI6 agents hadn't been snapping pictures of tourist attractions in America. We're almost certain there is comfort to be found in both of those facts.
MI5 is like this. But with British accents.
According to the last report we read prior to deadline, MI6 were still trying to track down the agent responsible for putting the camera on the market. In other words, they're still trying to track down the owner of a fucking eBay account. We're fairly certain a handful of 4Chan users could accomplish this in about six minutes. You stay safe, Brits!
#5. Nuclear Fuse Mistake
Buying anything through the mail can be risky. The package you receive at the end is not always the one you asked for. That Star Trek DVD you ordered on the cheap? A photo of some guy's nuts. That cook book? An eighth of coke that got you arrested by a nerdy postal inspector. The photo of some guy's nuts you ordered? Well, that one came through fine, you perv.
But regardless of how surprised you are when your package arrives, nothing can compare to the surprise Taiwan felt when they received nuclear missile fuses from America after they ordered helicopter batteries.
The fuses, which looked nothing like the batteries, are "used to trigger nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles," which is vastly different from the batteries and, as all the physics major readers would know, are not used to make helicopters fly good and stuff. While the fuses did not come with actual missiles, it must be noted that they that they had the potential to do so much more than a working helicopter could ever do.
Except fly. The fuses can't fly.
Given that it's really just a nuclear weapon spare part, the worst that could happen is that Taiwan may build its own nuclear warheads as a polite way of telling China to "Fuck off." But that, at worst, could only end in World War III. Highly unlikely though.
The other issue: What would have happened if the Taiwanese had used the nuclear fuses on their helicopters? After asking our top notch science department about this, and after reading several comics and watching many re-runs of AirWolf, we came to the conclusion that the worst that could happen would be something incredibly blow-uppy and awesome.