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Undercover GAO Investigators Purchase Sensitive and Stolen US Military Items on eBay and Craigslist

On April 10, 2008, the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform investigated the sale of sensitive, in-demand military technologies and supplies on Internet sites such as eBay and Craigslist. Specifically, the Subcommittee heard the results of an undercover Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation. The GAO team showed the Subcommittee the items they were able to purchase online and explained how the deals were consummated. Here's the GAO report (pdf).

The purchased items include:

  • Two F-14 fighter jet components. The United States has retired its fleet of F-14s. Only Iran is currently using them.
  • Night vision goggles specially made to military specifications that allow the user to identify U.S. troops at night.
  • Nuclear and biological chemical gear that could be reversed engineered to develop countermeasures
  • Body armor plates currently used by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq

Prepared statements from Tod Cohen, Vice President, Government Relations, eBay Inc., Jim Buckmaster, CEO, Craigslist.org plus others are available on the hearings webpage. [JH]

April 17, 2008 in eCommerce | Permalink

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