Skip to comments.Chinese Spies Friended NATO Officials With a Fake Facebook Account
Posted on 03/12/2012 3:02:09 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
Last year, a huge swath of senior British military officers and Defense Ministry officials became friends with who they thought was United States Navy admiral James Stavridis. While Stavridis is a real US Commander, sadly it now turns out that the man behind the Facebook profile wasn't him; it was actually a Chinese spy.
In friending the spy, those British officials obviously leaked their own personal information reports ZDNet. That includes e-mail addresses, phone numbers, pictures, the names of family members, and possibly even the details of their movements.
Perhaps understandably, NATO is recultant to state exactly who was behind the attack, but The Telegraph reveals that it was almost certainly someone inviolved in Chinese intellgience. A spokesperson from NATO said in a statement:
"There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese. The most important thing is for Facebook to get rid of them. First and foremost we want to make sure that the public is not being misinformed. Social media played a crucial role in the Libya campaign last year. It reflected the groundswell of public opposition, but also we received a huge amount of information from social media in terms of locating Libyan regime forces. It was a real eye-opener. That is why it is important the public has trust in our social media."
While it's one thing ensuring that Facebook cooperates with these kinds of problems, I can't help but think that a little more caution on the part of these Facebookin' officials might help rather more.
Regardless of whether they believed he was the real deal or not, I might suggest that using a social media website to communicate classified information would make one too stupid to be in a position of responsibility. The British military is already top-heavy with senior brass. A great excuse to pension off a few superfluous colonels, brigadiers and generals I think...
Stupid people in high places. But the use of social media makes such mistakes common.
The head of Mossad told all his agents not to have Facebook (after the Dubai assasination fiasco) but there was great resistance, because all the young agents are really into it.
The picture is actually from his OKCupid profile.
If someone wanted to weed through my 30,000+ posts here, do a bunch of homework and a little PI work, they could lock down exactly who I am, where I live, etc., but they'd have to work for it a little.
Still, I don't 'Facebook'.
If Government becomes more invasive and pervasive, it will not be long before the general public will fear their own statements in the social media, and they will be used to screen for reeducation candidates.