The national intelligence services of the United States have announced that they will launch a social networking site in an effort to maintain smooth lines of communication between all national security agencies.
CNN reports that the FBI MySpace, dubbed A-Space, is specifically for spying. Michael Wertheimer, assistant deputy director of national intelligence for analysis told CNN that A-Space was “every bit Facebook and YouTube for spies, but it’s much, much more”.
"It’s a place where not only spies can meet but share data they’ve never been able to share before," Wertheimer said. "This is going to give them for the first time a chance to think out loud, think in public amongst their peers, under the protection of an A-Space umbrella."
This all sounds very rosy, if they can pull it off. While its all well and good to say that A-Space will be secure and protected, data loss is at an all time high. The end of 2007 and 2008 to date has seen a flood of lost of compromised data and as it stands, people are already dubious about data protection measures.
Currently, U.S. officials are in the process of extraditing Gary McKinnon for gaining unauthorized access to government systems and allegedly taking an entire naval base offline for a 24 hour period. If we have the thoughts and opinions of every secret service agent in one place, it’s bound to attract the attention of people with unsavory intentions. Worst yet, if a spy is about to defect, he or she can gain information from easily about what’s going on in the field, and that’s not a good thing to happen. If it is secure however, it could well become a quest for hackers, if there’s even the slightest chink in the curtains, they’ll break in anyway.
Testing for A-Space began months ago and on September 22nd, it will launch, connecting the CIA, the FBI and 14 other U.S. intelligence agencies. Time will tell whether or not A-Space is secure enough to withstand the almost guaranteed barrage of attacks. Unfortunately, technology moves at an alarmingly fast rate and the 16 intelligence agencies involved will have to maintain an adequate speed of development to ensure the safety of such sensitive information.