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CIA rolls out 'new and improved website'

25 June 2013, 13:00

Washington - The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped wesbite on Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a "sleeker, more modern web experience".

Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy service's origins.

"The new and improved website reflects CIA's strong commitment to educating and informing the American people about the Agency's history, mission, and organisation," John Brennan, CIA director, said in a statement.

"I encourage the public to explore the website and learn more about an American institution dedicated to protecting our country's security," said Brennan, known as the mastermind behind secret drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen.

The CIA, heavily criticised over its reluctance to discuss drone bombing raids abroad or the treatment of terror suspects, said the new site offered more interactive features and more information to the public.

"The new design provides users a sleeker, more modern web experience, while offering a more user-friendly layout for the site's extensive content," the agency said.

The site features a menu of less than exciting videos, including a nine-minute promotional clip that provides a quick history of the agency from its founding in 1947 to the present.

The video's production standards are not exactly Hollywood material but it does try to explain the different branches of the agency, using a brief clip from a James Bond film to highlight the role of technicians who create gadgets for spies in the field.

"Think Q in James Bond movies," says the narrator during a segment on the agency's science and technology office.

The site also appears aimed at recruiting a new generation of spies, with a "job fit tool" that allows prospective applicants to find the best match for their skills and a "job cart" that allows people to apply to up to four jobs at one time.

The CIA website also makes it easier to search through historical documents from the Cold War era that have been declassified, including official collections recounting a range of secret operations during the Vietnam War.

One book examines the story of Lima Site 85, a covert radar site in Laos "that allowed the United States to bomb North Vietnam".



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