Germany intelligence agency faces unique demand from new recruits
‘Bond, James Bond, working from home’ would be an assault on the senses. It will be hard to imagine the suave British spy lazing on his bed (alone), typing away at a keyboard and settling for a stirred Martini because all he has is a mixer at home.
Germany’s spy agency, BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), is facing a unique problem, that of work-from-home spies. An official told Reuters that this is something that is taken for ‘granted’ by some young recruits.
‘We cannot offer certain conditions that are taken for granted today’
“We cannot offer certain conditions that are taken for granted today,” Bruno Kahl told Reuters. He said finding enough and the right new staff was proving to be a challenge. This is reportedly happening as spies from older generations are heading into retirement.
“Remote work is barely possible at the BND for security reasons, and not being able to take your cell phone to work is asking much from young people looking for a job,” he said.
According to its website, BND has 6500 employees working for it. The spy agency was founded in 1956 in then-existing West Germany. The service remained intact after the reunification in 1989.
The secret service has attracted controversy in recent decades for reportedly working closely with the US before the invasion of Iraq and also for spying on journalists in Germany.
MI6, UK’s spy agency, says on its website that it offers “flexible working [which] means you can work around personal commitments”. America’s CIA mentions that it has ‘several working groups’ that are looking for work from home.
As a major economic, military and political powerhouse, Germany finds itself in the middle of affairs of Europe and even the world. It has a prominent voice within the European Union (EU). Even in the West’s response after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany has had a central position.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year. The US and the European Union have poured in millions and millions in humanitarian and military aid for Ukraine.