Smile, MI6, You're On Facebook

Would James Bond Have His Own Facebook Page Today?

2 min read
Smile, MI6, You're On Facebook

In a bit of an embarrassment, the wife of the future head of MI6, the UK's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), posted his  photo and other family personal details on Facebook. The London Mail on Sunday found Sir John Sawers' information and printed a story about it, which immediate sparked a row between the Mail and the government over whether the Facebook information represented a security risk or not.

The UK Government initially said the disclosure meant nothing, since Sir John Sawers is currently the UK's ambassador to the United Nations and that his new appointment to lead MI6 was not a secret. The whole episode was much ado about nothing, the government insisted.

However, the offending information on Facebook was quickly removed and there is likely to be a quiet government inquiry into whether security rules were not followed.

In addition, diplomats and civil servants are likely to be told to keep their private lives private and the risks of not doing so, the London Timesreports. Today's Times story says that there have been several past disclosures of private information involving high profile government officials that have required extra security measures to be taken as a result.

For instance,

"Dame Stella Rimington was once photographed shopping near her home in London after she had been appointed Director-General of MI5 in 1991. She was advised to leave her family home for her personal safety and moved to a new address. "

In a story in today's ComputerWeekly about social media ruining the intelligence business, an IT security consulting company NCC Group, is quoted as saying that it is getting harder and harder to find people to recruit into the spy business who have not only left an online trail directly, but also who haven't been compromised indirectly online by friends and family as well.

I guess MI6 needs to begin telling its current folks (and those wishing to join it in the future) to ask themselves, "What would James Bond Do? (WWJBD)"

Somehow I doubt Bond would have created a Facebook page touting his exploits.

The Conversation (0)

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

Keep Reading ↓Show less