Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/29/facebook_bond/

UK spooks poke Facebook for new spies

The name's Bond, find me on Bebo

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 29th September 2008 12:40 GMT

The British Secret Service has given up trawling the Oxbridge Junior Common Rooms for new recruits and begun advertising on Facebook instead.

The Queen's own spooks are running one advert aimed at university graduates, and another at those bored of their current jobs.

It reads: "Time for a career change? MI6 can use your skills. Join us as an operational officer collecting and analysing global intelligence to protect the UK.”

Presumably being a screaming self-publicist whose ego can only be propped-up by broadcasting one's every like and dislike via the internet is not seen as a bar to working for the UK's covert intelligence services.

The Secret Intelligence Service began openly advertising some time ago in an effort to widen its pool of recruits. Traditionally recruits were found by friendly dons at UK universities who would approach gay Cambridge undergraduates likely candidates to suggest joining.

SIS began advertising jobs on its own website some time ago.

A spokeswoman for MI6 told the Sunday Mercury: “As part of its ongoing staff recruitment campaigns, the Secret Intelligence Service continues to identify new and creative opportunities to engage with potential candidates for the Service.

“The Facebook adverts are a recent example. The title of operational officer is a cover for numerous different jobs carried out by the security services.

“These can range from analysing data sent in from agents to working in a hostile foreign environment and collecting information – closer to the James Bond role."

It has also given interviews to Radio 1 about the benefits of a job with the spooks. A cunningly disguised agent was also interviewed by The One Show last week.

Current technology vacancies include one for an information security accreditor to ensure IT systems are properly secure and an auditor to make sure IT systems meet SIS's own security policies. ®