Want to be a Spy? Better Check the Browser History First

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a government spy? Your online activity may indicate otherwise.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence has just spent a whopping $800,000 to find out what your Internet habits say about your personality — and your ability to take on 007-style tasks. Specifically, the money will be used for research to find “which specific cyber-behaviors are normative, acceptable, or favorable” and how “risky IT activities or problematic cyber-behaviors” correspond with “traits, characteristics, or behaviors [that] can serve as risk or resilience indicators,” Wired.com’s Danger Room reports. The goal is to come up with a set of standards to hold against new recruits — a kind of Web surfing background check of sorts.

So, ready to see if you’d pass the test? Some of the behaviors believed to be signs of a non-spy-worthy person, according to an initial explanation of the research, include:

  • Social network usage
  • Disclosure of information in computer-mediated activities
  • Compulsive Internet use
  • Involvement in computer groups (especially those allied to stigmatized practices)
    providing false information within computer-mediated communications about oneself or others
  • Procurement and distribution of pirated materials

Ouch. Guess your Bond days may be over before they began. Sorry, agent.