British MI6 advertises on Facebook for future spies

September 30th, 2008 - 2:10 pm ICT by IANS  

FacebookLondon, Sep 30 (IANS) Gone are the days when British spies came from the universities of Oxford or Cambridge. The country’s premier intelligence service is now advertising on social networking site Facebook for future recruits.Three advertisements are currently running on Facebook, the first of which targets graduates.

“Graduates of all ages can develop long-term careers as operational officers, collecting and analysing global intelligence,” it says.

A second advertisement is aimed at those looking to switch jobs: “Time for a career change? MI6 can use your skills”.

The third advertisement attempts to play up MI6’s potential to shape history. “A career in world events? Help influence world events, protect the UK”.

The advertisements pop up when members are contacting one another. MI6 runs agents in foreign countries and says it wants its officers to “reflect the society” they serve, reports The Guardian.

A foreign office spokesperson said: “A number of public channels are used to promote job opportunities in the organisation and Facebook is a recent example of this.”

The response to the three advertisements has been “very good so far”, the spokesperson added.

The changing times are reflected on the official MI6 website too. There is nothing secretive about it, other than the information gathering methods.

This is how the site introduces the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6: “Officially we are the Secret Intelligence Service, but many people know us as MI6. In SIS we can offer people from a very wide range of backgrounds the chance to develop an absorbing career in the global intelligence arena. Explore the site and discover how you could use your skills to help protect the security of your country.”

To unravel the mystery of the agency, the site has a page on its origins too.

“The origins of the SIS are to be found in the Foreign Section of the Secret Service Bureau, established by the Committee of Imperial Defence in October 1909. The Secret Service Bureau was soon abbreviated to Secret Service, S.S. Bureau or even S.S.

“The first head of the Foreign Section, Captain Sir Mansfield Cumming RN, signed himself MC or C in green ink. Thus began the long tradition of the head of the Service adopting the initial C as his symbol.”

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