Social Media and Intelligence Services
Not an experienced professional? What about an experienced Vlogger, Instagram user, serial Twitter user or someone with skills at monitoring and predicting traffic through your own social media channels? SIS is well aware of the importance of this new and ever-changing technology and its consequences in shaping our society. Many people may not categorise themselves as 'experienced professionals' as this conjures up visions of middle-aged people, typically professional, and with a certain academic background and pedigree. Intelligence Services across the globe have been on the look out for, what some perceive as, unlikely candidates who have developed skills socially or in social media for themselves as brands, or businesses they work for.
Whilst there is, and probably always will be, an appetite for using social media to hide and identity or create a fictional character, this is not necessarily what SIS is looking for. Sure, it is a useful weapon in the arsenal of an intelligence officer, analysts, operational officer or for those monitoring and interpreting internet chatter. However, it is a key skill to know how to successfully brand oneself or a company or service using the relatively complex online products currently available.
Perhaps a more common error in our view is the assumption that the 'intelligence business' is all about technology and science. Clearly in many ways it is. However the Human part of HUMINT is crucial and understanding that is not always something that one can learn or teach. Upbringing, background, cultural setting, the list is almost endless. These are determinents of how succesfully one will be able to understand how your fellow human thinks. So social media is simply a version of communication we are now comfortable with, but the objective is still the same as it would be if you were in a bar or restaurant. You need to be able to read people well, and understand them. Sometimes sitting on the sidelines in a Desmond Morris stylie can be far more beneficial than being the life and soul of the party. And that is where social media has its advantages. You can sit on the sidelines and observe and make rational informed judgements based on data, not looks or other external influences. They can help of course, but they can also be distractions. If you are the sort of person who can identify with these skills and requirements, then SIS may well have a position for you. You really should never rule yourself out.