Australian spies tell about their skills and employment on the web

Dec 27, 2012 09:05 Moscow Time

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Professional and social media networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are now the places where you can choose between hundreds of former and some present Australian spies if you need to hire one. A survey has revealed information of the spies’ employment at intelligent agencies, their overseas postings and involvement with specific issues is now available on the web.

A survey conducted by Fairfax Media has disclosed more than 200 former and present intelligent officers have advertized themselves on the internet by not only mentioning the fact of their employment, but providing further details of their work.

One former officer of the Defense Signals Directorate, the Australian intelligence agency responsible for signals intelligence and information security, has listed his service with numerous allied signals intelligence agencies, thus revealing close cooperation between Australian and other countries’ agencies.

Many of intelligent officers have pointed to expertise in counter-terrorism, telecommunications and aerospace issues, as well as excellent linguistic skills, mentioning the Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Pashtun, Hindi, Urdu languages.

Security experts described the situation as “surprising” and threatening for both the government and the corporate sector.

Robert Winkel, a former DSD officer and now an information security consultant, said Australian intelligence agencies actively exploited social media and professional networking sites to gather information on targets.

”And foreign intelligence agencies are looking for exactly the same sort of information about Australian targets,” Winkel said.

“Former intelligence personnel are worthwhile targets as they could be of direct interest, and may still be connected socially to other people who still work in highly sensitive areas.”

Meanwhile, Defense Department security instructions require that “when engaged in online forums… Defense personnel must exercise professional judgment to ensure no information breaches operational security.”

Voice of Russia, The Sydney Morning Herald


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