Foreign agent registry discussed

The U.S. used a recent visit to Ottawa by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss the prospect of a Canadian registry of foreign agents. “We shared some of the practices and laws that we have in place to see if they would be of utility to our partners in Canada,” Mayorkas said during an April 30 broadcast interview. [node:read-more:link]

Seven charged with “malign influence”

Four U.S. citizens and three Russians have been charged by the U.S. Justice Department with conducting a “malign influence campaign” which involved recruiting and funding U.S. political groups to act as “unregistered illegal agents of the Russian government.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa not taking security seriously?

More than 60 former sen ior security officials, military commanders and politicians, including five former defence ministers, are pressing the federal government to take security and defence more seriously. Along with a former Supreme Court of Canada judge, they have shared their concerns in a letter released April 17 by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. [node:read-more:link]

Playing politics with national security

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, offered few new insights today on the issue of foreign meddling in Canada’s electoral processes even as documents supplied by National Security Advisor Jody Thomas confirmed there had been high-level briefings over more than four years. Pressed for details and expressing “frustration” about how much detail she could go into, Telford said Trudeau had been “briefed regularly” and “absolutely” read briefs on the issue but this didn’t sit well with Opposition MPs who had sought more specific details. [node:read-more:link]

Trudeau in damage control?

Ahead of today’s appearance of his chief of staff, Katie Telford, before a House committee looking into foreign meddling in Canada’s electoral processes, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said April 13 that they had discussed the issue “over many years.” The committee had been trying for weeks to have Telford testify but repeated requests initially were resisted by the PM. [node:read-more:link]

Cold War redux

Before its recent arrest of a U.S. journalist on espionage charges, Russia suffered a string of embarrassing setbacks to its foreign intelligence operations as hundreds of suspected agents were expelled or charged abroad. Among other things, Poland recently arrested nine suspected nine Russian rail saboteurs and Britain says roughly half of Russia’s spies working under diplomatic cover in Europe were expelled within six months of the invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Australia to ban TikTok

Security concerns have prompted Australia to follow its partners in the Five Eyes security group in prohibiting the use of TikTok on government devices. Attorney Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said today that the ban would take effect “as soon as practicable” but that there could be exceptions. [node:read-more:link]

Governments accused of ignoring CSIS

Former Canadian Security Intelligence Service officials have told a parliamentary committee that successive governments have failed to act on the agency’s reports on foreign election interference for at least three decades. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian leaks no issue for allies?

A U.S. Administration official said today that leaks about alleged Chinese meddling in Canadian electoral processes have not affected Five Eyes intelligence sharing. “There's no breach of trust […] whatsoever,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, adding that the U.S. supports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approach to the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Poland breaks up spy ring

Six foreign nationals “from across the eastern border” have been charged by Poland with preparing acts of sabotage and spying for Russia. “Their tasks included recognising, monitoring and documenting weapons transports to Ukraine,” says Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski. “The suspects were also preparing sabotage actions aimed at paralysing the supply of equipment, weapons and aid.” [node:read-more:link]

PM sets out Johnston’s mandate

Former Governor-General David Johnston, tasked with looking into foreign interference in Canadian politics, has been promised “complete access” by the Prime Minister. While he has two months to decide whether a public inquiry is warranted, Johnston’s mandate letter gives him more time to dig into the “extent and impact of foreign interference”, to determine “what the government did to defend Canada”, and how it could be improved. [node:read-more:link]

Globe & Mail protects anonymous source

An anonymous veteran federal public servant was identified today as the source for a series of internationally embarrassing disclosures about foreign interference in Canadian affairs and about seeming government indifference or reluctance to act over the years. Acknowledging the prospect of eventual prosecution if identified, the whistleblower explains the reasons for sharing concerns about an evolving threat. [node:read-more:link]

Ex-NSICOP member calls “B.S.”

Retired Conservative Senator Vern White is challenging Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre’ characterization of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Poilievre described NSICOP’s work as “secret hearings, secret evidence and secret conclusions” controlled by Prime Minister. “Obviously that’s B.S.," says White, insisting that “our work was […] totally unfettered” even though the PM ensures security elements are redacted before NSICOP reports are made public. [node:read-more:link]

Registry consultations begin

Several months after indicating late last year that the federal government wanted to address concerns about foreign influence in Canadian politics, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino jump-started the process today. “There are few greater challenges that we face than foreign interference,” he said, announcing plans to consult hrough to May 9 about a proposed registry of foreign agents. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Intelligence