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German Prison Forced To Change 600 Locks After Intern Shares Selfie With Master Key On Social Media

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A prison in Germany was forced to change 600 locks after an intern mistakenly shared pictures of keys on social media.

The prison trainee, who worked (past tense) at JVA Heidering prison in Germany's Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region, reportedly took a photo of himself inside the prison and sent it to his mates on WhatsApp. In the picture, he posed with a master key, which locks all cells and passage doors. Local media reports that the intern, whose name hasn’t been disclosed due to Germany’s privacy laws, wanted to show off to his friends how great his new job was. But in the attempt, he unintentionally ended up seriously jeopardizing prison security.

Although reports did not mention who reported the intern’s selfie to the prison management, it was reported that the JVA Heidering was forced to reinstall 600 new locks across several cells in prison to prevent a security breach. While bragging about the new job, the intern clearly didn't realize the implications of his actions - i.e., the key could easily be reproduced by specialists. If this were to happen and replicas were smuggled inside; it could have led to a mass breakout of the prison, which is currently home to 657 inmates.

JVA spokesperson Sebastian Brux has confirmed that the incident was reported to the judicial authorities on Thursday. He added that "All cells and passage doors have therefore been changed." Brux also stated that the intern was fired immediately after the incident. "The intern was banned from entering the house with immediate effect, and the internship ended."

The simple social media fiasco cost JVA big. Not only did they need to buy new locks and keys, but it took 20 of the facility's staff members to install the new security setup, not to mention the cost of having to get the old keys destroyed. Even though there has been no official update on the outlay, experts estimate that it would have cost the prison €50,000 (over £43,000) to replace the system.