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The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, is to recruit 1000 more spies by 2020. (File photo of Daniel Craig at a press event for James Bond film Spectre).

Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, is to recruit 1,000 more spies by the end of the decade to help the agency defend the country from hackers.

Referring to the technological developments that have triggered an increase in security breaches worldwide in recent years, the chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service Alex Younger said this week that the “information revolution fundamentally changes our operating environment”. The BBC reported that this reasoning is behind the planned addition to staff figures, thought to grow to around 3,500 over the next four years.

Speaking in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Younger said “In five years’ time there will be two sorts of intelligence services – those that understand this fact and have prospered, and those that don’t and haven’t. And I’m determined that MI6 will be in the former category.”

Younger also said the Islamist terrorist threat to the West would be “persistent” and endure for a “professional lifetime”, Reuters reports, as reclaiming ISIS-captured territory in the Middle East alone would not be enough to overcome the global threat that the terrorist organization poses.

MI6, depicted as the employer of famous fictional spies such as James Bond, operates overseas to help make the U.K. “safer and more prosperous”.


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