Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Shaken, not stirred. (Spies are everywhere.)

Shaken, not stirred.

That's how James, James Bond preferred his martinis.

Beyond that, we don't really know all that much about 007.  Navy man. Womanizer. A few hours logged on the playing fields of Eton. Excellent survival instincts - unlike his dead Mum, dead Dad, and dead wife.

And, whoever played him, he looked pretty good in a dinner jacket, Savile Row suit, or bathing suit.

Which is more than we can say about John Sawers, whose the next "M", the head spook in Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service.

We know that he looks pretty pasty because his wife, Lady Sawers, posted a shot of him on vacation on her Facebook account, along with a lot of nattering about their family, their home, and their vacations.

I'm guessing that bad guys like Auric Goldfinger and Ernst Blofeld would probably be able to figure out some of this stuff on their own, but Lady Sawers private postings on the Sawers' kids, cats, sacks, and in-laws - which apparently were up there without any security settings set - have been removed. The Brit press is atwitter about whether security has been breached. And the Foreign Office has said that, when it comes to social media, staff members need to proceed with caution - even while pointing out that there's really nothing that compromising or revelatory about someone who wears a bathing suit when he goes swimming. (Picture as seen in a CNN article.)

Personally, given the pasty torso, I would have preferred if Lady Sawers had photo-shopped a tee-shirt on to this pic. While she was at it, she might have put a bit of man-tan on those chicken legs. I mean, I know all about pasty white chicken legs - I've got two of them, myself. But I'd be damned if I'd let anyone post a picture of those chicken legs on line.

While many are downplaying the flap, others are not so sanguine.

"The Foreign Office should have made the announcement that no personal details should have been left on any computer or directory," [intelligence analyst Glenmore] Trenear-Harvey told CNN.

The leak compromises Sawers' personal security, said Trenear-Harvey, the editor-in-chief of "The World Intelligence Review."

"You could have someone come online and insinuate themselves with Lady Sawers' daughter," who reportedly appeared on the Facebook Web site.

Forget the security issues. (Although every once in a while I feel kind of exposed after I've gotten a really nasty anonymous comment, and I remember that it would take about a nanosecond for an unglued lunatic to figure out where I live.)

We all know that everyone's already googling away before they make you an offer or do a deal with you, and you have to be vigilant about what's floating around out there in your name. But it's not just what you're saying and posting about yourself that comes up, but what your nearest and dearest are posting.

It's sure easy to imagine ticked off kids tweeting and IM-ing about mom being a bee-otch, or dad being an a-hole.

Will that get held against you, or get discounted for what it is?

Or do we have to move forward assuming perfect knowledge about everything and everybody, on the part of anyone and everyone.

Scary thought, eh?

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