Business wants better security

The Business Council of Canada wants the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have legislated authority power to work more closely with foreign-targetted companies. In a 19-page report today, the lobby group of senior corporate executives and entrepreneurs says that “for decades now, successive Canadian governments have overlooked, taken for granted, or simply ignored the principle that economic security is national security.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran holding Swedish diplomat

The EU is pressing Iran “relentlessly” to release a Swedish diplomat who, having visited for official reasons several times, was taken into custody in April 2022 and charged with espionage while on a subsequent tourism visit. A “pawn for political reasons”, according to the EU, Johan Floderus is being held in Tehran’s infamous Evin prison. [node:read-more:link]

Cyberthreat escalating

The Communications Security Establishment has singled out Russia and Iran as cybercrime safe havens where criminals can operate with impunity against foreign targets. It says in a new report today that this poses a threat to Canada’s national security and economic prosperity over the next two years. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference: an update

Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said today that it is taking longer than expected to find someone to lead a public inquiry into foreign interference. The focus now is on sitting judges whom the government must approach through Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. charges suspected spies

Britain has disclosed that it has taken into custody three long-term resident Bulgarian nationals suspected of being Russian agents. Charged with possessing identity documents, including multiple European passports, the trio were among five persons arrested last February. [node:read-more:link]

Moldova expels Russians

Citing “ongoing tensions and unfriendly actions,” Moldova expelled Russian diplomats, embassy technical staff and their families August 14. The former Soviet republic, sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania and now a constitutionally neutral state, announced its plans in late July after reports suggested that new surveillance equipment was installed atop the embassy and an adjacent building. [node:read-more:link]

Kiwis beefing up threat response

Acting on a royal commission recommendation in December 2022, New Zealand has confirmed plans for a National Security & Intelligence Agency in the hope of facilitating faster responses to threats. It will be over and above the current Security Intelligence Service and the Government Communications Security Bureau. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs criticized by NSICOP

The National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has “identified significant weaknesses” in Global Affairs Canada’s governance, especially on intelligence activities. NSICOP said July 19 that while GAC has appropriate consultation structures in place with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, its relations with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are “largely informal.” [node:read-more:link]

MI6 says “come spy with us”

Richard Moore, chief of Britain’s MI6 Secret Intelligence Service, wants dissident Russians to “join hands” in helping to end the war in Ukraine by supplying information to the West. “Perhaps the people around you don’t want to hear the truth (but) we want to,” the career diplomat said today in Prague. [node:read-more:link]

Intelligence chiefs discuss Ukraine

Sergey Naryshkin, head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, says he and his U.S. counterpart, CIA Director Williams Burns, discussed “what to do with Ukraine” in a recent phone call. The CIA did not respond to Naryshkin’s comments but Burns had called to assure the Kremlin that the U.S. had no role in the June 23 Wagner Group mutiny. [node:read-more:link]

Political consensus on inquiry?

Multiparty negotiations on a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canadian politics evidently are bearing fruit. The Liberals and Conservatives, at loggerheads for months, have agreed on terms of reference and, according to a Conservative official, “all parties have shared their suggested names for a potential commissioner.” [node:read-more:link]

Auditing software open to attack

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and U.S. agencies have warned key industries about increasing malware attacks through auditing software developed by Texas-based Netwrix and used by the financial, insurance, healthcare and other sectors. [node:read-more:link]

Singh warns Trudeau about inquiry

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, whose support in Parliament is critical to the survival of the Liberal minority government, says he warned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to not use the lack of Opposition consensus as an excuse to avoid a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canada. “Knowing that what the Liberals had done in the past, we were very critical or very suspicious about their initial overtures,” Singh said. [node:read-more:link]

Dozens of Russian spies in Switzerland

Swiss intelligence reported June 26 that Russia maintains dozens of agents disguised as diplomats at its embassy in Bern and its UN mission in Geneva. “Of the roughly 220 people that are accredited as diplomatical or technical-administrative personnel at the diplomatic and consular representations […] at least a third are likely still active,” it said. [node:read-more:link]

Intel leaker sought by government

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security advisor expects that the security official who leaked sensitive information to the news media about attempted Chinese interference in Canadian electoral processes will be caught and punished. “The law has been broken; sources, techniques have been put at risk,” Jody Thomas says, adding that Canada’s credibility with its Five Allies also has been jeopardized [node:read-more:link]


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