The unverified account claiming to be the Australian Signals Directorate began life with a cheeky tweet. (Supplied: Twitter)
One of Australia’s most covert spy agencies has exposed itself to the mercy of social media with its very first tweet.
On Monday, an account claiming to belong to the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) issued a cheeky post to begin life on Twitter.
“Hi internet, ASD here. Long time listener, first time caller.”
While the move appears to be timed to coincide with a new focus on transparency at the agency, Twitter users were quick to question the account’s veracity.
One asked, “Is this an official account?” which prompted a reply from an account claiming to belong to the ASD’s director-general himself, Mike Burgess.
That account is also unverified.
“Yes. Live today,” Mr Burgess posted.
“I mean … they could’ve asked @TwitterAU before setting up the account,” wrote Asher Wolf, who does own a verified account.
Later that day, Mr Burgess addressed Canberra’s national security community in a speech titled Coming Out of the Shadows, boosting the account’s credibility.
The agency’s maiden tweet joins an illustrious group of other prominent users who took the step with a tongue-in-cheek first post.
The ASD became an independent statutory body on July 1 this year, when it separated from the Department of Defence and Mr Burgess became its first director-general.
The agency now reports directly to the Defence Minister and has a widely increased brief.
It has also taken on new transparency and reporting obligations, which previously fell to the defence department.
While the declining use of Twitter caused the company’s stock to dip by 20.5 per cent in July, this recent endorsement by a government agency suggests the platform may have some life in it yet.
The ASD has been contacted for comment.