Stung, British Intelligence has increasingly sought to regain control of its own reputation.

Tweets are tightly managed around a few key themes: the agency s history, its claims to diversity, job opportunities Arabic and Russian language graduates are in particular high demand , technological innovation, and support for the British establishment one recent tweet celebrating the Queen s birthday .

Broadly speaking, followers fall into six groups: news media & journalists probably hunting for stories , tech sites ditto , other intelligence services e.g.

Even though GCHQ isn t on Facebook, it s interesting to see the results from a Facebook Audience Insights check on people interested in Edward Snowden , counter-terrorism , cyber security and espionage .

Clearly, GCHQ has found a ready audience among social media users, who hold opposing views about authority and power, national defence and whistle-blowers.

In contrast with GCHQ s surveillance work, on Twitter it seems far more interested in broadcasting its identity and attracting recruits, instead of open discussion.

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