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Media Enthusiast Girls Should Get A Chance To Serve The Nation

In India, information on female spies is negligible. Our external Intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) should also consider hiring women in social media cell & give an opportunity to women to serve the nation

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Move over "James Bond". Social Media savvy "Jane Bond" has arrived. Security agencies across the world are targeting school and college girls, to be groomed as spies, to de-code social media.

These girls are being trained by agencies to protect countries from all manner of online threats and cyber-attacks. Currently, only 10 per cent of the global cyber workforce are females. In November last year, the UK government announced its five-year National Cyber Security Strategy with a funding of £1.9 billion. Part of the budget to be spent on outreach and recruitment of female spies adept in social media.

The intelligence community sees social media networks as its main opportunity to spot attackers in advance. With the average perpetrator aged between 15 and 25, the great majority of them are active on Facebook and Twitter, and are found to have given some inkling of their intentions online. Recently, Israeli security agencies, using specially developed algorithms to monitor the social media accounts of young Palestinians, yielded a list of potential suspects.

In the US, several companies are designing technologies that would help the government collect social media information and rapidly process it to spot people viewed as potential threats.

Intelligence agencies have to be smarter than terrorists who are using networking sites to spread jihadist propaganda and attract new recruits. The informality of social networking encourages users to drop their guard and reveal seemingly innocuous information. In the past, a security agency would spend months trying to gather information enabling it to assess a target. Now information and data is available with a few keystrokes on social media sites.

Why intelligence agencies are recruiting women in social media cell? Contrary to popular belief that one needs to be physically fit to outmaneuver the enemy, it's actually having the smarts, which is the key to survival. Security agencies are realizing this across the world. Women, from a young age are taught to be on the lookout for suspicious characters and stalkers. They are good at deciphering and reading situations. The importance of "high emotional intelligence" is being stressed in recruitment. Hence, their services in cyber-space are being increasingly used in preventing attacks.

In India, information on female spies is negligible. Our external Intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) should also consider hiring women in social media cell & give an opportunity to women to serve the nation.

Globally, we know of a few well known female spies like Mata Hari, whose name is synonymous with espionage & was executed by a French firing squad in 1917. Spy movies with protagonists like James Bond show that the best spies are men, and that women's contribution to espionage is limited to the role of 'honeytrapper.' Hopefully, with changing dynamics, we will be hearing of contributions of "Jane Bond" as well!!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Anu Sehgal

The author is a digital consultant specialising in image management and brand promotion, and a former journalist

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