Feature

Why spies should avoid Facebook

A lesson Sir John Sawers—head of Britain's foreign spy service—and his wife learned the hard way

Here's some advice for anyone hoping for a career as a spy, said Nadia Gilani in Britain's The Times. Stay off Facebook. Sir John Sawers—the new head of the U.K.'s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6—learned that the hard way, after his wife, Shelley, posted vacation photos and personal details on the social-networking site. Lady Sawers used no privacy protections, potentially exposing the family's friends and associates to Facebook's 200 million users worldwide.

"Wow," said Foster Kamer in Gawker. John Sawers is "supposed to lead up one of the world's two most powerful secret service organizations. And serious secrets—like where the guy lives, who his friends are, who his family is, and what his wife's favorite Liza Minnelli musical is—have been exposed (along with his Speedos, which terrorists and enemies of the British state everywhere will, at the very least, get a laugh out of)." But, seriously, Laborites and Tories alike are wondering—with good reason—whether to keep this guy on the job.

Online oversharing is a problem for a lot of people, said Judy Berman in Salon. There's a blog called STFU, Parents that makes fun of moms and dads who embarrass their offspring by airing the family laundry—or flat-out ridiculing their kids—on Facebook. Note to everybody: Your business ceases to be private the second you post it online.

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