News you may have missed #0020

  • Social media is ruining spy industry, says IT security group. IT security consultancy NCC Group says that intelligence “agencies are concerned that Facebook and other social networking tools are ruining the spy industry”. The comments come just hours after British newspaper The Mail on Sunday revealed that personal details about the future head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, had been accessible to 200 million online users through his wife’s Facebook account.
  • Pakistan’s nukes face insider threat, says ex-CIA official. Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a 23-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, argues in Arms Control Today that “[t]he greatest threat of a loose nuke scenario stems from insiders in the nuclear establishment working with outsiders, people seeking a bomb or material to make a bomb […]. Nowhere in the world is this threat greater than in Pakistan. Pakistani authorities have a dismal track record in thwarting insider threats”, claims the retired US intelligence agent.
  • Hamas says Israeli spy cell in Ramallah busted. Hamas says it has dismantled an Israeli spy network, which served through the West Bank-based administration of Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas. The group claims that the network “channeled […] false information to Ramallah [in the Fatah-dominated West Bank] and then to the Israeli occupation”, in order to create “target bank” in Gaza.

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Facebook reveals personal details of future MI6 chief

Sir John Sawers

Sir John Sawers

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. Read more of this post

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