icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
20 Aug, 2008 11:33

Gays are natural spies - Let’s recruit them!

Gays are natural spies - Let’s recruit them!

Gone are the days when gay men and women were barred from serving in the British secret service on the assumption of their being vulnerable to blackmail. On the contrary, MI5 is now actively encouraging homosexuals to seek a career in the intelligence age

Gays may actually have an advantage in the field over their straight rivals, according to Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights group Stonewall. “If you have grown up as part of a minority community, you're probably more used to fitting in and being inconspicuous,” he says. “You have a distinct skill set that is of use.”

Summerskill was approached by MI5 some months ago and asked for help in recruiting gays reports The Times magazine. He was so convinced by the agency’s change of attitude that he listed it as a gay-friendly employer in the groups recruitment guide. “This wouldn't be happening if we didn't think they were taking some strenuous steps to move forward,” Summerskill said.

British domestic intelligence officers are not the only ones coming with clever ideas to fill their ranks. MI6 – the employers of James Bond and all those non-fictional agents gathering secrets worldwide – is seeking potential recruits through the Internet.