No this isn’t another Craigslist post but you’d never know it from how easy it was for investigators to buy, and then illegally export, things like military grade body armor, military grade night vision goggles or even triggered spark gaps used to detonate nuclear weapons. This was just some of the military stuff that investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GOA) were able to openly buy and then export without detection.
For the 13-month investigation the GOA setup as bogus front company and fictitious identities to go around and buy the goods that are normally in high demand by foreign governments and terrorist groups. The majority of purchases were made online with flimsy security checks by the seller to make sure the stuff wasn’t being shipped to places it shouldn’t be going to.
The distributor’s web site claims that the company always “checks for military identification” when selling the tags. “However, the seller failed to request identification from our undercover investigator.. In the end, our fictitious buyer was only required to provide a name, credit card, and domestic address for shipment to purchase these items. After purchasing and receiving the IR flags, we also obtained a price quote for an additional 400 IR flags.” Hundreds of people could have presented themselves as American forces.
The deal for night vision goggles was even looser. Not only did the distributor ship the gear to a bogus company at a fake address, Kutz reported. “During our undercover purchase, the seller certified our bogus company to be a distributor of the item by signing a dealer/reseller agreement. This allowed us to circumvent the seller’s voluntary restrictions on only selling the items to military and law-enforcement agencies.”
Source: Danger Room [wired.com]
You can read the full GOA report here