Spooks use internet and social media to advertise their skills
HUNDREDS of former and some present Australian spies have posted information about their employment with intelligence agencies on the internet in what security experts have called ''a gift for foreign espionage''.
A survey by Fairfax Media has discovered more than 200 former and present intelligence officers who have disclosed their classified employment in profiles on LinkedIn, other professional networking sites and social media including Facebook and Twitter.
While many former and present officers have disclosed only the fact of their employment by agencies including the top secret Defence Signals Directorate and the Defence Intelligence Organisation, some have revealed significant details about their work.
These include employment at specific intelligence facilities, overseas postings and liaison with allied intelligence agencies, linguistic expertise indicating particular intelligence targets, and involvement with specific issues and information technology systems.
One former officer of the Defence Signals Directorate has illustrated close co-operation between DSD and allied signals intelligence agencies by listing his service with the RAAF's No. 3 Telecommunications Unit at Pearce in Western Australia; the Royal Australian Navy's Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin; postings to Britain's Government Communications Headquarters in Gloucestershire and GCHQ's Composite Signals Station in Cornwall; another posting to the US National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland; and work at the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station in Geraldton, Western Australia.
Other former Defence Signals Directorate and Defence Intelligence officers have listed postings with counterpart agencies in Canada and New Zealand.