BERLIN (AP) — Germany's government has asked its spy agency to open an investigation following reports that several former intelligence officers advertised themselves as experienced spies on a professional networking website.

A government spokesman said Friday that current and former employees of Germany's spy agency, BND, are bound to secrecy and may not disclose their employer.

The spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with government policy that the chancellery asked the BND to consider disciplinary and legal action against the alleged former spies.

German tabloid newspaper Bild has reported at least 12 former employees looking for jobs advertised their spying credentials on the business networking website Xing, Germany's equivalent to LinkedIn.