It's #FridayFeeling time, I know, but ...

I've been thinking a lot about diversity, agency recruitment and finding new ways the UK's intelligence agencies can reach out to new audiences.

Just published in @JanesINTEL ⏬ on the UK agency use of social media.

A THREAD 1/8 Image

@GCHQ announced they were on Twitter in May 2016 with the simple message "Hello, world".

The aim was to make GCHQ more accessible and help the public understand what the agency does, reaching out in new ways to attract diverse talent and add GCHQ's voice to debates. Image

Since launching on Twitter, @GCHQ now uses @instagram and we've seen shares on recruitment, #LGBTHM 🏳️‍🌈, Women in #STEM, neurodiversity, GCHQ's history and centenary, and had a snapshot of life in "The Doughnut" - as well as a Dalek invasion and, erm, Weetabix.

We've also seen @NCSC join social media, disseminating helpful security advice to UK government, stakeholders and the public. And we've even had a "C" (@ChiefMI6) join, highlighting diversity, the drive for new talent and share SIS's #secretlywerejustlikeyou message. Image

But there are limits to what can be shared. As @ciaranmartinoxf said in 2019: "We can say that Russia, China, Iran and North Korea continue to pose strategic national security threats to the UK but we can't often talk about the operational successes". 🤫

But the UK's agencies are still behind some "Five Eyes" counterparts. Some egs:

🇺🇲 @CIA @ODNIgov @DefenseIntel @NGA_GEOINT @NSAGov @NatReconOfc

🇦🇺 @ASDGovAu @ASIOGovAu

🇨🇦 @cse_cst @csiscanada

Well, so what?

Social media isn't an easy fix and there can be issues, but:

1️⃣ It gives a voice

2️⃣ Reaches new audiences, explains what agencies do, and shares history

3️⃣ It can support initiatives such as CyberFirst or #secretlywerejustlikeyou.

It's a good thing.

In short, it's possible to do intelligence and social media without giving away secrets. And I hope one day we can see some of the other UK agencies follow @GCHQ's lead. #JustSayin

And if you want to know more read
@Leelum, @Wardini65 and myself on the pros & cons of agencies having social media in "Hello, world": #GCHQ, #Twitter and social media engagement' published in @IntelNatSecJnl:…

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More from @SourceMerlin

21 Apr
Excellent thread from @ciaranmartinoxf

Agree - 5Eyes is used as a lazy way of referring to 🇺🇸🇬🇧🇳🇿🇦🇺🇨🇦

It is a purely bilateral intelligence alliance that excludes politics - hence why it's strong.

There have been pol disagreements in the past but intell sharing survives.

"United States Policy toward the New Zealand Government with respect to the Port Access Issue".

NZ-US defence impacted by decision by 🇳🇿 to stop nuclear armed warships entering NZ waters ⏬

But Five Eyes sharing continues Image
Some egs of 🇺🇸🇬🇧 spats here ⏬

But US-UK SIGINT liaison continues.

In short, liaison continues because 5Eyes is not a political alliance but a highly compartmentalised SIGINT one that is often immune to political, economic tensions.…
Read 4 tweets
7 Feb
"Manchester University cancelled an agreement with a Chinese military technology company after being warned that it supplied technology platforms and apps used by Beijing’s security forces in mass surveillance of Uighur Muslims".… via @MailOnline
It's as if these universities didn't know there have long been human rights issues. 😕

But in some parts a confused piece: "The security service investigation, led by MI6 officers seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office".
Read 4 tweets

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