British businessmen are being given a secret MI5 handbook to help them avoid being caught in “honeytraps” when working in Russia or China, The Irish Independent reports.
Some of the UK’s biggest firms have received the booklet, which warns that getting drunk, gambling or womanizing could see them targeted amid talk of a new Cold War.
“The Smart Traveler” warns UK businesses to keep an eye on their “sensitive assets” that could be “more at risk of espionage, intellectual property theft and a range of other threats.”
British travelers are warned that drinking should be avoided. Using drugs, gambling, online dating and “flirtatious liaisons” could also cause “reputational damage” to the United Kingdom and or the worker’s employer – or worse, they could be left open to blackmail.”
Published by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, which reports directly to MI5, the booklet warns against “risky business” and lists “inappropriate activities” which even if they are not illegal can “have a lasting impact on you personally.”
Other suggestions include keeping electronic devices such as phones or laptops close by, for example in hand luggage rather than checking them in with suitcases, in order to reduce the chances of them being fiddled with. “The Smart Traveller” book also recommends turning off location services on smartphones, deleting unnecessary apps, and avoiding public Wi-Fi connections.
When they return to the UK, businessmen are advised to change passwords for any gadgets or online accounts they have used abroad.
BBC journalist John Simpson has recently revealed that he was targeted by a glamorous Czech spy during the Cold War, whilst Anna Chapman, the Russian spy, was married to a British man and said to have been on the brink of seducing a U.S. congressman before her arrest.