Posted on November 1, 2018
GCHQ’s account on the photo-sharing site claims the agency will provide a glimpse into its secret world. Its first post acknowledges GCHQ’s institutional suspicion about openness by including a photograph of the border fence with a “no photography” sign attached. The account is part of GCHQ’s expanding presence on social media, and comes two years after it opened a Twitter account, which has 75,000 followers. Such public online socialising is designed to put a friendly gloss over the agency’s more covert activities. Leaks by Edward Snowden, a whistleblower who worked for the GCHQ’s US counterpart, revealed that GCHQ collects and stores vast quantities of data about individuals, including Facebook posts. The number of Instagram users worldwidetopped a billion this year. This is still less than half that for the parent company, Facebook, but Instagram is more popular among younger people. The Pew Research Center found that 51% of US teenagers use Facebook, compared with 72% who use Instagram.