MI5 now on Instagram: Spy agency makes public foray into social media to bust popular myths and reveal never-before-seen archive material
- MI5 has joined Instagram and will detail the agency’s 112-year history
- Agents working for MI5 are banned from sharing personal details online
- Historical exhibits in the museum of its London headquarters will be featured
For more than a century, they have operated in the shadows.
But now aspiring spies can read all about MI5’s secret exploits on Instagram.
After years of monitoring social media to uncover terrorist plots and other threats, Britain’s spy agency is making a public foray into the world of influencers and celebrities, sharing photos, videos and fascinating snapshots of missions.
MI5 promises the account, @mi5official, will ‘bust popular myths about its work, provide explainers for intelligence terminology, promote career opportunities and bring to life events in MI5’s 112-year past’.
MI5 has announced that it is launching its own Instagram account @mi5official, pictured, the organisation’s headquarters building
MI5 also plans to host online Q&As with serving intelligence officers and promote career opportunities on the Facebook-owned social network, which boasts more than one billion users globally
For a spy agency that does not allow staff to share anything about their personal lives on social media, the move will be seen by many as ironic.
But it isn’t the first British spy agency to join Instagram. GCHQ and the National Cyber Security Centre joined in 2018.
It comes just days after MI5 warned that social media was being used by foreign spies to target more than 10,000 British officials and other nationals with access to classified or sensitive information.
MI5 also plans to host online Q&As with serving intelligence officers and promote career opportunities on the Facebook-owned social network, which boasts more than one billion users globally, PA said.
The agency, once famous for approaching potential new recuits in discreet, shadowy encounters, began publicly advertising vacant positions in recent years.
Historical exhibits from its museum, located in the basement of London headquarters by the River Thames near Westminster, will also be shared for the first time on Instagram.
The move comes months after MI5’s new director general Ken McCallum said he wanted the traditionally highly secretive agency to ‘open up and reach out in new ways’.
‘Much of what we do needs to remain invisible, but what we are doesn’t have to be,’ he said in his first media engagement in October, after taking up the job in late April.
‘In fact, opening up is key to our future success,’ added McCallum, a MI5 veteran of more than 25 years who oversaw all counter-terror operations around the 2012 London Olympics.
A 2018 parliamentary committee report strongly criticised the country’s spy agencies for failing to reflect modern Britain and lacking women and ethnic minorities in senior positions.
The UK’s spy network also includes the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) – better known as MI6 and home of the world’s most famous fictional spook, 007 James Bond – as well as cybersecurity agency GCHQ.
GCHQ joined Instagram in October 2018.
Source: Read Full Article