The photos and private details of the next foreign spy chief were posted on an easily accessible Facebook page, it has emerged.
The data of Sir John Sawers, appointed head of MI6 from November, has now been removed. It was originally posted by his wife, Lady Shelley Sawers, on her Facebook page. Lady Shelley Sawers had put “virtually no [privacy] restrictions” on her page on the site, the Daily Mail reported.
The data available for all to view included the location of the London flat used by Sawers, as well as where his children and his parents live. There were also photos of Sawers.
Foreign secretary David Miliband denied that national security had been compromised.
But the Liberal Democrats called for an inquiry. Ed Davey, the party’s foreign affairs spokesperson, said: “Normally, I would welcome greater openness in Government for officials or politicians but this type of exposure verges on the reckless.”
He said an investigation was needed into whether the fact the details were on Facebook “has breached the security of the incoming head of MI6 too seriously to allow him to take up the post”.
In Canada, the Ontario government is scrambling to deal with social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies that are spreading like wildfire across the nation, particularly among the young. Some say social media can revolutionize government communications, while others say they are enormous time-wasters.