The Daily Telegraph story which names last year's expelled Russian diplomat / spy as Mikhail Repin, is illustrated with this photo (see the immediately previous Spy Blog article)
with this caption
Repin, left, was a regular on the party circuit
The obvious question is who are the other 3 people in the photo ?
It is not unreasonable to suppose that anybody who recognises them, will assume that they could be Russian spies or that they are the alleged British potential recruitment targets of Mikhail Repin.
If you save a copy of the image and look at the EXIF meta data with a tool like ExifTool this reveals:
Comment: Russian spy Mikhail Repin (far left) next to Gennady Vladimirov (yellow tie)..At Russian embassy BBQ 2010
Mr Gennady E. Vladimirov was still listed as a Counsellor, a more senior diplomatic rank than Mikhail Repin who was a 3rd Secretary, in the 30th June 2011 London Diplomatic List, but he is no longer listed in the 29th July 2011 London Diplomatic List
Whether that makes him a spy, or not, is unclear.
However, if you click on the Jason Lewis hyperlink, to see which other stories the award winning investigative journalist (who used to work for the Daily Mail / Mail on Sunday), has published recently, you will see this cropped version of the image just showing the face of Mikhail Repin as a smaller thumbnail image with links to the two versions of the story:
However the EXIF meta data for this image reveals:
CC_emb27_russia13.gif...Michael Repin (Russia), Gennady Vladimirov (Russia), Matt Boyles (BMW Park Lane) and Joey Zegerius (BMW Park Lane)
Matt Boyles describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as Sales Manager at BMW Park Lane
Joey Zegarius describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as Official Embassy and Security Car Specialist at BMW Group International & Specialist Sales Division
Were any BMW employees the targets of industrial espionage by the Russians ?
Did the Daily Telegraph nick the photo of Mikhail Repin from Embassy Magazine ?
The original of this photo appears to have been taken (without any acknowledgement by the Daily Telegraph) from the Court Circuit pages of Embassy Magazine:
The scene was set for a perfect summer BBQ - a warm evening, lush gardens of the Russian Ambassador's Kensington Palace Gardens residence, kebabs grilled on hot coals and ice-cold vodka cocktails. No wonder the Russian Ambassador's party is one of the favourite events of the summer!
Photo Credit: : PIERRE DE VILLIERS
The original photo image on the Embassy magazine website is called CC_emb27_russia13.gif which ties in exactly with the EXIF Meta Data on the cropped thumbnail image just of Mikhail Replin's face on the Daily Telegraph website.
This Embassy magazine web page also has a photo showing the attendance at the same BBQ event of the Liberal Democrat MP at Simon Hughes, who is also mentioned in the Daily Telegraph story.
Pierre de Villiers is the South African Director of Photography and Multimedia at Embassy Magazine
One of the Premier Partners of Embassy Magazine is, unsurprisingly, BMW International and Specialist Sales
This illustrates the potential threat to anonymity and privacy which even experienced mainstream media organisations like the Daily Telegraph pose, when handling digital images.
See the section on Photo Image Files in Spy Blog's
Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for
Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists,
Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc.