Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

EU warns of 'pretty blonde spies'

Actor Ruta Gedmintas as Rachel Harris in BBC spy drama Spooks: Code 9
The EU said women like this spy drama character could pose a security risk

The European Commission says it is being targeted increasingly by spies, who may include a "pretty trainee with long legs and blonde hair".

The warning came in a security note circulated to human resources staff at the commission - the EU's executive arm, which drafts legislation.

Commission spokeswoman Valerie Rampi said the note gave advice on the recruitment of non-EU nationals.

It said the espionage threat to the commission was "increasing day by day".

Ms Rampi said the information seekers included lobbyists, journalists, private agencies and IT experts.

"It could be the pretty trainee with long legs and blonde hair," she warned.

Hostile intelligence services are making repeated attempts to compromise commission information
Valerie Rampi
European Commission spokeswoman

Her comments were prompted by a German newspaper report on Wednesday about the commission's security note.

Ms Rampi told the BBC News website that the commission was not singling out journalists as a threat.

"There is not a general institutional suspicion towards journalists," she explained.

She declined to give any details of specific threats identified by the commission, but said "hostile intelligence services are making repeated attempts to compromise commission information".

The commission's internal security agents were working closely with the national security authorities of the 27 member states to thwart spies, she added.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific