Grimly fascinating reading over at Wired, where there’s one of those infografficky-mashup articles about the international trade in illicitly-obtained human organs and body parts. Even when we’ve reached a point when we can reliably print off spare parts for our meat-machines, the ol’ global wealth gap pretty much ensures that there’ll be a cheaper option overseas if you’ve got the right contacts. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “unbranded spares from China”, doesn’t it?
United States Defense Department investigators have discovered that it’s surprisingly easy to purchase restricted or classified items of military hardware; all you need to do is have a scout on eBay or Craigslist. [via SlashDot][image by swotai]
” Among the items purchased include two components from F-14 fighter jets …”
The article mentions the risk of items being reverse-engineered or countermeasured by enemies of the United States … though I’d hazard to suggest any enemy worth being worried about has probably decided that it’s best to continue letting bureaucracy and internal discontent do all the hard work of wearing their opponents down.
I think the thing that astonishes me most, though, is the fact that I’ve had eBay auctions delisted for tiny marginal breaches of the site’s code of conduct, yet their eagle-eyed monitoring teams don’t notice or investigate people selling chunks of fighter jets. It’s a weird world, and no mistake.