MI5 Agency: Spies Need Social Media Skills

Aspiring James Bonds of the world, take note: brush up on your computer and social networking skills , especially Facebook and Twitter, or consider yourself obsolete. At least that’s the message that the UK’s MI5 (Security Service) agency is giving in their “redundancy programme,” designed to let go of agents who lack the skills necessary these days to combat cyber attacks and counter-terrorism.

The UK MI5 security agency’s director general is quoted in the Telegraph and BBC News as saying, “I think some of the staff perhaps aren’t quite the ones that we will want for the future.” So casual and yet kind of ominous for those agents who cannot adapt to learn various computer skills, especially social media and social networking.

The staff cuts are partly prompted by budget cuts, and to satisfy that end, the skills of agents are of primary concern. While the MI5 is planning to increase staff size by an extra 600 officers by 2011, the “voluntary and compulsory redundancy programme” will likely weed out anyone who cannot adapt the necessary skills.

Good luck, agents. In case you’re worried about adaptibily, my Pop is 81, does Internet Marketing and uses Facebook, albeit not regularly. So learning how to use Twitter and Facebook to fight crime can’t be all that hard. Unless you’re a blundering fool like Get Smart’s Maxwell Smart (pictured above).

Images via Wikipedia and Flickr.

Publish date: April 12, 2010 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/mi5-agency-spies-need-social-media-skills/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT