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Live web chat: former MI5 officer Annie Machon

Ever wanted to be a spy? This Friday, we're hosting a live web chat with former MI5 intelligence officer Annie Machon.

Annie read Clas­sics at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity and then began a career in pub­lish­ing. In 1991 she was recruited by MI5, the UK Secur­ity Ser­vice, where she was pos­ted to their polit­ical and counter-terrorism departments.

She resigned from the agency in the late 1990s to blow the whistle on the spies’ incom­pet­ence and crimes with her ex-partner, David Shayler - as detailed in her book Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5 and the David Shayler Affair.

Annie has a rare per­spect­ive both on the inner work­ings of gov­ern­ments, intel­li­gence agen­cies and the media, as well as the wider implic­a­tions for the need for increased open­ness and account­ab­il­ity in both pub­lic and private sectors.

She is now a pub­lic speaker, writer, media pun­dit, polit­ical cam­paigner, and PR con­sult­ant. She is also the Dir­ector of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) Europe, a non-profit organization dedicated to highlighting the failures of existing drug policies.

This web chat has now finished but you can read all the questions posed to Annie, and her replies, in the comments section below

Annie is speaking to Stylist to celebrate the release of ABC's CIA drama series Missing on ITunes. After CIA Agent Paul Winstone (Sean Bean) was murdered, his wife, Becca (Ashley Judd), and their son, Michael, struggled to rebuild their lives. Now, 10 years later, Michael goes missing under suspicious circumstances, and Becca will do anything it takes to find him. Missing is available exclusively on iTunes now