Canada counselled to block Huawei

Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, whose government banned Huawei Technologies from providing equipment for his country’s 5G wireless networks, is urging Canada to follow suit on grounds of national security. “You’re not dealing with a government . . . that pays too much attention to the rule of law,” he said Nov. 21 during a visit to Halifax. The question his government faced was whether it wanted to put its interests “in the hands of a company that absolutely would have to act at the direction of the Chinese government?” [node:read-more:link]

CSIS-RCMP relationship problematic

The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency says flaws in the way the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP share information are stalling investigations, including into extremists’ activities. It says there is “a mutual reluctance to pursue the formal disclosure of information from CSIS, even in cases where the alleged threats were serious or imminent and even though the alternative investigative path was slower and involved different challenges.” [node:read-more:link]

Israeli company blacklisted by U.S.

NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli company known primarily for it Pegasus spyware, has been added to a U.S. trade blacklist after it was reported that it had been used by some countries to target human rights advocates and journalists. “Dismayed” by the decision, the company insists that its software helps to prevent “terrorism and crime” and is sold only to countries with good human rights records [node:read-more:link]

U.S. renews Wikileaks pursuit

A British court was told by U.S. lawyers today that a judge who blocked Julian Assange’s extradition in January was misled by the Wikileaks founder’s psychiatrist who said Assange’s mental health was at risk. The U.S. wants to try the Australian for leaking thousands of classified documents a decade ago. [node:read-more:link]

COVID-19 intel was inadequate

Department of National Defence documents made public through an access-to-information request indicate that while DND played a critical role in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, its efforts likely were undermined by inadequate intelligence. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan repeatedly said the government’s response to the escalating problem was based “on sound intelligence,” which proved not to be the case. [node:read-more:link]

Russia shuts down NATO exchange

After eight “undeclared Russian intelligence officers” were expelled from NATO’s military mission in Brussels Oct. 6, Russia said today that it was shutting down its involvement in the mission. It also has cancelled the accreditation of alliance staff at the NATO mission in Moscow [node:read-more:link]

Chrystia Freeland clearly not to be messed with!

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, widely regarded as a potential Liberal Party leader, is well known to the Russian intelligence apparatus for her Cold War campaign in support of Ukraine while she was a Harvard University exchange student. The KGB actually lauded her efforts against its political masters and even tagged her with a personal code name. [node:read-more:link]

A look inside North Korea

A former senior North Korean military and intelligence official says his agencies were the “eyes and ears and brains” of his country’s leaders. He says his activities during a 30-year career before he fled to the South in 2014 included coordinating assassinations and building a drugs laboratory to raise “revolutionary” funds. [node:read-more:link]

Terrorism hoaxer’s charges withdrawn

Charges have been withdrawn against an Ontario man who claimed to have travelled to Syria in 2016 to join ISIS and committed acts of terrorism. Shehroze Chaudhry was charged last year with perpetrating a hoax and his lawyer has explained that the behaviour was due to immaturity, not criminal intent. While the charge has been dropped, Chaudhry has entered into a peace bond and will abide by other conditions for 12 months. [node:read-more:link]

NATO reduces Russian credentials

NATO withdrew the accreditation of eight members of Russia's mission to the alliance today, saying they were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.” The reduction in the Russian positions to 10 evidently faces retaliation but a NATO official said the alliance’s policy “remains consistent” in that while “we have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia's aggressive actions . . . we remain open for a meaningful dialogue.” [node:read-more:link]

Court focuses on CIA “black sites”

The U.S. Supreme Court today began hearing a case which could shed light on the CIA’s use of “black sies” in other countries to hold terrorists before they were sent to Guantanamo. The Palestinian who brought the suit is described as an al-Qaeda recruiter who claims to have been tortured at a CIA “black site” until he was transferred to Guantanamo, where he has been held without charge since 2006. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei decision in “coming weeks”

Canada remains under pressure from the U.S. to ban Huawei 5G technology over concerns that it could be used to compromise communications security. Having reviewed the situation for three years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Sept. 28 that a decision is forthcoming in the “coming weeks.” [node:read-more:link]

What to do about Huawei 5G

Canada has been silent on the question of banning Shenzhen-based Huawei for security reasons even as China invoked a policy of detaining innocent Canadians for political ends. Now that Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been returned, the federal government will start to feel pressure to make a decision that reflects the serious security concerns that have led many of our allies to ban the company from doing business their countries. [node:read-more:link]

New “enthusiasm” about national security?

Independent analysts are questioning the lack of a national security element in the incumbent Liberal government’s latest federal election campaign despite have committed significant resources to the issue during its previous mandate. While there evidently is new “enthusiasm” for reorganizing policies to address a range of evolving security-related issues, it’s noted that there is no permanent cabinet committee on national security. [node:read-more:link]

Trudeau downplays Aussie sub deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a new defence pact between Australia, Britain and the U.S. has no implications for the Five Eyes alliance which also involves Canada and New Zealand despite the pact’s intelligence-sharing element. “We continue to be strong members of the Five Eyes and continue to share information and security approaches,” he said Sept. 16. “This is a deal for nuclear submarines, which Canada is not currently or any time soon in the market for.” [node:read-more:link]


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