Facebook reveals personal details of future MI6 chief

Sir John Sawers

Sir John Sawers

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Facebook, the Internet social networking site with over 200 million registered users worldwide, has made intelligence headlines once again. Last April, intelNews reported on revelations by Sweden’s armed forces that Swedish soldiers serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan were approached on Facebook and asked to provide details on NATO’s military presence in the country. Last weekend, Facebook did it again: British newspaper The Mail on Sunday argued that “potentially compromising” personal details about Sir John Sawers, who has been appointed to the post of Director of MI6, Britain’s primary external intelligence agency, were revealed by his wife on her Facebook account. The paper accused Lady Shelley Sawers of “a major personal security breach” upon discovering that “she had put virtually no privacy protection on her account”, which made it accessible to all of Facebook’s 200 million users. Information on Lady Sawers’ page revealed details about the couple’s residence and place of work, their friends, family, as well as their favorite holiday destination. Interestingly, the revelations also point to an association between Lady Sawers’ half-brother, Hugo Haig-Thomas, a retired diplomat, and revisionist British historian David Irving, who is known for questioning the existence of the Nazi Holocaust, and was recently jailed in Austria for “glorifying the Nazi Party”. The paper argues that the revelations suggest that neither MI6 nor the British Foreign Office vetted publicly available information about Sir John Sawers prior to announcing his appointment.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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