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Britain’s intelligence service, MI6, is to recruit 1,000 more spies by 2020 to help the agency defend the country from hackers.

The spy agency argues the planned boost – from 2,500 staff to a little under 3,500 – has been made necessary by the development of the internet and technology, the BBC reports.

Alex Younger, the chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service, alluded to the scale of this challenge in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. “The information revolution fundamentally changes our operating environment,” he said, as reported by the BBC. “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 this week that the Islamist terrorist threat to the West would endure for years to come, because simply taking back territory from ISIS will not solve the deeper global fractures which have fostered militants.

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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