ure, you can buy a crockpot, a designer bag, a wristwatch, a car part, or some dried guascas for some cold-weather Colombian ajiaco, which I was looking up the other day.
But you can also buy a HIIDE or SEEK II military scanner which comes with complimentary database full of thousands of iris scans and fingerprints of U.S. service members, U.S. collaborators, and al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists dating from the Afghanistan War. Apparently, such devices were among the $7.1 billion’s worth of abandoned equipment in Afghanistan in Joe Biden’s disastrous military pullout last year. And now they’re turning up for sale on eBay.
According to the New York Times:
The shoebox-shaped device, designed to capture fingerprints and perform iris scans, was listed on eBay for $149.95. A German security researcher, Matthias Marx, successfully offered $68, and when it arrived at his home in Hamburg in August, the rugged, hand-held machine contained more than what was promised in the listing.
The device’s memory card held 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 individuals, but others appeared to be people who had worked with the U.S. government or simply been stopped at checkpoints. Metadata on the device, called a Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit, or SEEK II, revealed that it had last been used in the summer of 2012 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The device — a relic of the vast biometric collection system the Pentagon built in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — is a physical reminder that although the United States has moved on from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tools built to fight them and the information they held live on in ways unintended by their creators.
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