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Canada’s spy agency reveals real-life agents in cinematic recruiting videos

Posted by Fredsvenn den januar 9, 2013

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has released a series of recruitment videos onto YouTube, videos that feature testimonials from real-life spies.

The clips were posted last week, but released without any publicity. To date, the YouTube videos have drawn only a few hundred viewers apiece.

In the clips, each of which lasts a minute or two, CSIS intelligence officers are shown striding purposefully to urgent (but fictional) assignments, as orchestral music plays and time-lapse video speeds up street scenes.

Such recruitment videos have never been released before by the spy service, one of only a few federal departments actively looking to bolster its ranks.

The point is to use social media to demystify CSIS and glamorize the art of spying, especially as real-life recruiters make the rounds of job fairs and university campuses this fall. Those considering careers in espionage are tipped to the YouTube videos, which are meant to serve as a handy reference points for various skill sets.

British author John le Carré famously broke down his fictional spies into “lamplighters,” “scalphunters,” and “wranglers.” But Canada’s spy service appears to have a more prosaic division of labour. The YouTube videos yield crash courses in the specializations of “surveillants,” “recruiters,” “duty officers” “security screening officers” and “IT professionals.”

What’s most surprising is that the clips do not feature actors. Used instead are real-life CSIS employees, who identity themselves by first name only, and who may or may not really do the jobs they are portrayed as doing.

This marketing tactic is novel, given that all spy services are by nature publicity-shy, especially CSIS – which has often fought to guard its sources and methods, and to keep the images and identities of its intelligence officers secret.

Here, then, are the links to each of the five videos released to date, with a short written synopsis on each.

Andrea the Surveillant

Allison the Recruiter

Shelly the IT Pro

Theresa the duty officer

Patrick the Screener

Canada’s spy agency reveals real-life agents in cinematic recruiting videos

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