UK defence minister sorry over Afghan interpreters’ data breach

More than 250 people seeking relocation to the UK , many of whom who were Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces, were mistakenly copied into an email from the Ministry of Defence. Many people in the e-mail list are currently hiding from the Taliban.

The email addresses could be seen by all recipients, showing people’s names and some associated profile pictures.

The email was sent by the team in charge of the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap), around 30 mins after the first e-mail they sent another e-mail with the title “Urgent – Arap case contact” asking the recipients to delete the previous email and warning “your email address may have been compromised”.

One interpreter who received the email told the BBC that he realised that more than 250 Afghans who worked with British forces had been copied into the email. He said “This mistake could cost the life of interpreters, especially for those who are still in Afghanistan”

Defence Minister Ben Wallace told Parliament “It is an unacceptable level of service that has let down the thousands of members of the armed forces and veterans. On behalf of the Ministry of Defence, I apologize”

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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