Britain named career spy Alex Younger as the new head of its MI6 Secret Intelligence Service - photo UK gov
01 Apr 2015 By Con Coughlin, Defence Editor - TheTelegraph
Despite the setbacks caused by Edward Snowden's revelations, Britain's spy agencies need to be fully equipped for the digital age
Modern espionage has changed beyond recognition in the hundred or so years since Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service was set up. Its founding father was, after all, an eccentric former naval officer who, according to legend, amputated one of his legs following a car crash in France.
Back in 1909, when Captain Sir Mansfield Cumming set up the outfit more commonly known as MI6 in a rented office on the sixth floor of a building overlooking the old War Office in Whitehall, the chief obsession among the organisation’s early practitioners was to develop an invisible ink. This was to be used by agents based on the Continent to send back secret messages relating to Germany’s military build-up.