Creating a 'Facebook for spies'

The CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency are reportedly testing a social-networking site designed for use by analysts within the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

One might expect James Bond's MySpace page to list shaken martinis, Walther PPKs, and Aston Martins among his interests.

While that scenario is a bit far-fetched, agents for the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency are testing a social-networking site designed for use by analysts within the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, according to a report on CNN's Web site. Instead of posting thoughts on music and movies, the agents use the site--called A-Space--to share information on terrorist activities and troop movements around the world.

The social networking site has been undergoing testing for months and is expected to officially launch to the nation's entire intelligence community on September 22, CNN reported.

"It's every bit Facebook and YouTube for spies, but it's much, much more," Michael Wertheimer, assistant deputy director of National Intelligence for Analysis, told CNN. "It's a place where not only spies can meet but share data they've never been able to share before. 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."

The information posted to the new social network is highly classified and won't be accessible by the general public, CNN reported. Access will be limited to intelligence personnel with the proper security clearance and a reason to be examining particular information. A-Space's creators don't want the network to become a gold mine of sensitive information for future double agents.

"We're building (a) mechanism to alert that behavior. We call that, for lack of a better term, the MasterCard, where someone is using their credit card in a way they've never used it before, and it alerts so that maybe that credit card has been stolen," Wertheimer told CNN. "Same thing here. We're going to actually do patterns on the way people use A-Space."

 

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