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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 17:54 GMT
Israel's Shin Bet launches blog
By Tim Franks
BBC News, Jerusalem

Picture taken from the Shin Bet security service website
Shin Bet says Israelis are keen to learn more about life in the service
The Israeli secret service has launched a new venture: it has started to carry an internet diary, or blog, written by four of its agents.

The agents discuss how they were recruited, and what sort of work they perform; they also answer questions sent in by members of the public.

The tone of the blog is chatty, at times even facetious.

The agents from Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, are shown in silhouette.

Agent Chet is the sole woman among them. She works in hi-tech.

She says she went to the agency because it offered her a better "work-life balance" than her previous job in the private sector.

There are parts of her job, she says, which she can't discuss even with her husband - but then again, at home, they don't much like talking about work.

Recruitment drive

Agent Aleph, dubbed "the expert" on the blog, attempts to debunk a few myths.

"We don't work in a basement," he says. "We don't spend the day wearing earpieces."

"And we don't get to have flashing blue lights for our cars. We have to sit in traffic jams like everyone else."

The blogs are intended to draw members of the public into other areas of the Shin Bet website - in particular the recruitment section.

Some of the positions are advertised with a red star and the slogan "hot job".

There is the opportunity to work on what are described as "irregular missions"; to work on one's own; and to acquire a variety of "special skills".

A Shin Bet official told the BBC that the idea was to inform the public that the agency offers work beyond just stopping Palestinian paramilitary attacks.

The official said that the agency had been cheered by the feedback from members of the Israeli public - keen to find out more about the jobs within Shin Bet, the pay and even the food.

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