Tweeting MI6 chief Richard Moore reveals modern face of not-so-secret service

Tweeting MI6 chief Richard Moore reveals modern face of not-so-secret service
Tweeting MI6 chief Richard Moore reveals modern face of not-so-secret service

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - New MI6 chief Richard Moore, who tweeted his arrival in the role with a wink emoji, has been welcomed to the higher echelons of the spy community in similarly modern fashion.

The response to Mr Moore’s message, in which he said he planned to keep tweeting because Britain’s spies were “secretly like you”, was swift.

Among those to reply within minutes was GCHQ, another British intelligence and security agency, which responded with this code: 57 45 4c 43 4f 4d 45 20 43.

Also tweeting was the CIA: “Welcome @ChiefMI6, you’ve successfully made it through your first day. Mission Accomplished.”

ASIO director-general Mike Burgess, Mr Moore’s counterpart in Australia, said: “Congratulations on your new role from down under.”

Lynne Owens, the head of the UK’s National Crime Agency, suggested ‘C’ - the codename given to the MI6 chief - was definitely “worth a follow”.

Mr Moore’s licence to tweet marks a massive shift for the UK intelligence service.

Once shrouded in mystery, MI6 and spy agencies around the world have made a conscious effort to better engage with the populations they seek to protect from foreign threats.

In the UK, the existence of MI6 and GCHQ was not confirmed in written law until the 1994 Intelligence Services Act confirmed that “there shall continue to be a Secret Intelligence Service”.

While declaring retweets “show my interest was piqued, nothing more”, Mr Moore’s Twitter feed could be viewed as a window into his thinking.

Among those he follows are English comedian Stephen Fry and artist Cold War Steve, who designs satirical collages of leading figures including Donald and Rupert Murdoch. He also follows MPs from across the political spectrum.

Mr Moore was previously political director at the Foreign Office before taking the helm at MI6.

He is also the UK’s former ambassador to Turkey and was deputy national security adviser at the Cabinet Office.

Updated: October 2, 2020 07:00 PM

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