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Terror of 255 interpreters stuck in Kabul after MoD personal emails data breach

The Ministry of Defence has ordered an investigation after the data breach involving email addresses of hundreds of Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces

The Taliban seized control of Kabul last month

An Afghan interpreter caught up in the e-mail data breach fiasco has spoken of his ‘betrayal’ after he along with 254 others had their personal information sent out.

The Ministry of Defence has ordered an investigation after the data breach involving email addresses of hundreds of Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace requested the probe after being alerted to the lapse, which could potentially jeopardise their safety.

The contacts may have been compromised by copying, rather than blind-copying, their email addresses.

Mr Wallace apologised to those involved and told MPs he was angry when he heard about the data breach.

An MoD staff member had since been “suspended pending investigation”, he said.



An investigation was launched into the data breach
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Image:

MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Im)




Speaking to the Daily Mail one of those affected said he was shocked when he received an e-mail that included his personal details.

He said: “It was such a big mistake. My security has been compromised, yet again. Unlike some of the others who received the first email, I did not reply because I saw it was addressed to ‘You and 254 others’.

“But even if I delete the email, as they instructed, what about the 254 others who also got it? Have their (identical) emails all been deleted? Our personal contact details are out there now. Who knows who else will see them and what they will do?”

In a bid to flee the country with his wife and child he said he been physically beaten and called a ‘slave of the infidels’ before being threatened with death at Taliban checkpoints.



More than 8,000 people were evacuated on the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy
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Image:

US MARINE CORPS/AFP via Getty Im)




He said: “I feel betrayed to be honest. They (the UK Government) could have done more for people like me and done it so much earlier. If they had accelerated the evacuation process they would have got more of those truly deserving their help, out of Afghanistan.”

He told the outlet he and his family now live ‘in limbo’ sheltered by their friends and said the UK government had made it difficult for him and others.

UK troops evacuated more than 8,000 people eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy in two weeks at the end of August.



Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence
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Image:

Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)




But not everyone who was eligible for the scheme was able to flee by the August 31 deadline for the US-led coalition to withdraw as the Taliban seized control.

An MoD spokeswoman previously said: “An investigation has been launched into a data breach of information from the Afghan Relocations Assistance Policy team.

“We apologise to everyone impacted by this breach and are working hard to ensure it does not happen again.

“The Ministry of Defence takes its information and data handling responsibilities very seriously.”


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