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British spy agency MI5 has announced that it will be offering an e-mail alert service to inform the public about changes to the security threat level.

From the AP:

Internet users will be able to register on the MI5 Web site to receive automatic electronic updates in their email inboxes.

The email alerts are the latest in a series of moves by MI5 and its partner, the international spy agency MI6, to open up to the public after decades of guarding extreme secrecy.

“It’s part of the service’s ongoing effort to improve its public communications and contribute to the government’s policy of keeping the public informed about the national threat level,” a spokeswoman for the home office said.

In recent years both MI5 and MI6 have begun to emerge from the shadows, launching Web sites offering security advice and information about careers in the spy services, and even running recruitment advertisements in newspapers.

I think this is a good move by MI5. In addition to updates on the security status, Brits can request other e-mail alerts from the agency, allowing them a quick and efficient way to get out their information.

Why not take it one step further though? How about distributing a widget that automatically allowed the blogger to automatically display the terror level through a graphic on their navigation bar? I know more than a few bloggers who, if offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, would add a graphic (such as the one displayed at the right) to their blog. Or the ability to add MI5 news feeds to a blog?

With new media, there are endless possibilities.

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