British spy chief’s Facebook faux pas

Britain’s newly appointed spy chief has suffered his first international embarrassment and he hasn’t even started in his new role yet! Sir John Sawers (53), who will lead the UK’s MI6 intelligence agency come November, has been caught on Facebook with his pants down…though to be fair he did have Speedos on and was vacationing with his family at the beach when the pic was taken.

Sir John Sawers in speedosThe Mail on Sunday newspaper came across Sawers’s wife’s Facebook page – public for all to see – and, of course, couldn’t resist publishing domestic snapshots of John wearing a Santa hat, posing with his kids and playing frisbee at the beach. Fun family times.

The page has since been removed (naturally) and while some are calling the snafu a security breach, others – like Foreign Secretary David Milibrand – think it’s all been blown out of proportion: “It’s not a state secret that he wears Speedo swimming trunks. For goodness’ sake, let’s grow up.”

From a security standpoint, the real issue regards the details the page gave away about the Sawerses’ three children – not to mention the location of their home in London. It’s surprising in a world where people are warned not to put any identity-related details up on Facebook, not even birth years, that the wife of a former spy didn’t know better.

For years MI6 was an extremely private organization – the British government wouldn’t even acknowledge its existence…and its spy chief was known only by the letter ‘C.’ There must be some veteran employees grimacing at the thought of having such a publicly-known figure taking the reins this winter…

pics courtesy of and

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