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Military told to scrub security clearances from LinkedIn due to spying fears

Military personnel and defense contractors have been told to delete their security clearance from LinkedIn over spying fears after being warned about the growing espionage threat from China.

The Department of Defense said in a statement: “When individuals use social networking websites/apps and change their security clearance (eg [sic]Colleagues and national security at risk.

“Individuals must immediately remove these details from their social media profiles.”

The Telegraph has been able to view the LinkedIn profiles of a number of individuals with current security clearances up to Developed Vetting (DV) level, which grants access to top secret classified information. In some cases, recruiters appear to have contacted those with the appropriate references to post lucrative private sector jobs that require DV clearance.

A duty naval officer promoted the fact that he had Enhanced DV, the highest level of clearance available within the UK Government.

The Department of Defense said no specific incident led to the warning to post security clearance levels on LinkedIn last week.

However, it comes amid growing concerns about China’s espionage capabilities.

Last month, the heads of MI5 and the FBI issued a rare joint statement, saying Beijing posed the “greatest long-term threat to our economic and national security” and specifically naming the state espionage campaign.

In an interview with The New York Times last year, William Evanina, the director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said, “We’ve seen China’s intelligence agencies do this on a large scale.”

A campaign launched last year by MI5’s Center for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) warned that people are taking social media job offers at face value if they are from hostile foreign countries. The campaign features defense contractors and academics being targeted by a fake LinkedIn profile that goes by the name of Georgina Wang.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/01/military-told-scrub-security-clearances-linkedin-due-spying/ Military told to scrub security clearances from LinkedIn due to spying fears

Russell Falcon

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