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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
07 October 2022
Scottish Parliament to hire information security analyst to manage online threat against MSPs

Nicola Sturgeon during FMQs at Holyrood | Credit: Alamy

Scottish Parliament to hire information security analyst to manage online threat against MSPs

The Scottish Parliament is hiring an information security analyst to better manage against online threats to MSPs.

The parliament has been working to implement further safety measures to help ensure the safety of MSPs following the murder of Southend West MP Sir David Amess last year.

The new role will trial a two-year social media monitoring service, and the incumbent will work closely with members’ current personal safety manager, Helen Birrell.  

MSPs will be able to opt in to the social media monitoring service. The software operates by searching for threatening and abusive language across social media platforms, with the hope that early notice can be provided to members of any potential online threat towards them.  

The role is a two-year full-time fixed-term post, and the service is expected to go live on 1 April 2023.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Parliament said: “The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body is acutely aware of the rising level of online abuse and intimidation towards elected representatives.     

“Members will expressly have to opt into the service, which would operate on their behalf.  Any issues of concern picked up by the service would be escalated to Police Scotland as appropriate.”

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