Saturday, August 1, 2009

From Facebook, With Love

By Stephen Lautens

July 9, 2009

One of the newspapers recently reported that England is in the middle of yet another crisis. It seems that the wife of the new head of MI6 – the British Secret Intelligence Service – posted details about her family life on her Facebook page.

For those of you who keep track of the world of espionage, Lady Shelley Sawers is the wife of Sir John Sawers, who was appointed last month to head the British Secret Service. Yes, he is James Bond’s real life “M”.

Actually, the head of MI6 was known by the codename “C”, and the British government officially denied the existence of the whole outfit until 1992, which is a long way from having your own Facebook page.

Lady Shelley apparently shared with the world through her Facebook page details of where she and the new head of the British Secret Service live and spend holidays, and apparently photos of the family including Sir John in his Speedo bathing suit, which is no doubt complete with cyanide capsule compartment and grappling hook attachment.

Now as a result, the head of the British Secret Service has to move for security reasons, as the whereabouts of England’s chief spymaster and family is actually supposed to be a secret. Revealing details of their home and friends to the estimated 200 million Facebook users from the London networks who had access to the information meant it wasn’t a very well kept secret.

Lady Shelley’s Facebook page was only taken down after a British newspaper pointed out that it could be a problem if you wanted to keep foreign spies from leaving exploding cakes on your doorstep, so you can’t “poke” her anymore (and before you get excited, a Facebook “poke” is an electronic nudge or hello).

She also had 76 Facebook friends on her homepage and eight albums of family photos, but now we won’t get to see them. You wonder what it might have been like -

Favourite things: ability to deploy knock-out gas to end boring dinner parties, car that turns into a submarine, jetpacking home to beat traffic, going shopping at sales with two large men who have a license to kill.

Least favourite things: being strapped to a table with a laser about to cut me in two, being painted gold, sharks in the swimming pool, ninjas, tarantulas in my bed.

Favourite places: Swiss alps, Monte Carlo casinos, Carribean luxury hotels.

Least favourite places: volcano secret headquarters, minefields, pilotless airplanes, voodoo graveyards, anything with a trap door and pool full of piranhas.

Turnoffs: rude people (especially if they have a blow gun and paralyzing darts), guys in Nehru jackets bent on world domination, people who throw their hats at other people, guys with steel teeth, triple agents, slow-acting poisons when the antidote is across the room, falling out of an airplane without a parachute, people with secrets.

Current friends include: 006, 005, Moneypenny, Q, F, Miss Plenty Goodstuff, the Countess Bedready, Minister of Defence.

Three (3) new people want to be your friend.

One (1) new person wants to be your nemesis.

You have a message from: Ludwig von Hammerstrike, Doctor Inferno, Salazzar the Butcher, and Aunt Sophie.

Groups: Opera Friends, Ascot Book Club, Wives of Spies, Smersh Cooking Circle, People Who Can Get Their Hands on NATO Nuclear Launch Codes.

It’s too bad they made her close her Facebook page. Some people were never meant to keep a secret.

© Stephen Lautens, 2009