Ukraine envoy quits

Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO and the Department of State’s unpaid prt-time special envoy for Ukraine, has stepped down. He reportedly quit because he felt he could no longer be effective due to the mounting controversy over President Donald Trump’s conversations with his Ukrainian counterpart. Volker is expected to appear before a congressional committee this week. [node:read-more:link]

Technology trends scrutinized

The U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Center for Strategic Foresight is trying to ensure that Congress is on top of technological trends and issues. Launched two years ago, the Center is expected to provide an overall picture of trends, opportunities and challenges. [node:read-more:link]

Cyber Supply chain weaknesses

Guidelines for fighting a growing array of threats to the U.S. technology supply chain have been published by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Among other things, the agency says multiple legal and policy barriers keep industry and government from adequately sharing information about threats. [node:read-more:link]

Syrian consul controversy

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has asked her officials to explain how an alleged Syrian government sympathizer has been appointed its honorary consul in Montreal. Freeland is reported to be “shocked” by public statements by Waseem Ramli, whose appointment was approved in August and who is in a position to influence the Syrian diaspora. [node:read-more:link]

Alleged spy’s lawyer awaits more information

The lawyer for Cameron Ortis, the RCMP intelligence director accused of preparing to share classified secrets, says he is waiting for key information. Ian Carter says he only has an initial synopsis of the case against his client but does expect more disclosure by the Crown this week. [node:read-more:link]

Twitter removes questionable accounts

More than 10,000 state-supported Twitter accounts used by six countries to spread propaganda and disinformation have been delete by the social media giant. About 40 per cent were being operated by China, which outranked only the United Arab Emirates. [node:read-more:link]

“Selling fear” a dubious strategy

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ithin he U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says government and industry should not be “selling fear” if they want broader community engagement in fighting digital threats. [node:read-more:link]

Australian imprisoned by Iran

An Australian academic detained in Iran is reported to have been sentenced to 10 years in prison for alleged espionage. University of Melbourne lecturer Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who specializes in Mideast politics, had begun teaching a course in Qom last year. [node:read-more:link]

Greens push digital privacy

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says intrusions into Canadians’ digital privacy have become a crisis and it’s time to stop companies from data-mining for profit. She says it’s a timely issue to raise during an election campaign because democracy is threatened when data are collected, manipulated and used. [node:read-more:link]

Stricter U.S. research rules?

Kelvin Droegemeier, the new science advisor to President Donald Trump is moving to bolster U.S. policies on research security. Recent U.S.-China political has spilled into the research community which has been pushing back against federal agencies investigating foreign-born scientists. [node:read-more:link]

Retired Marine held in Russia

It has been disclosed that a retired member of the U.S. Marine Corps and now a security industry executive, has been detained in Russia on espionage charges since last December. The Kremlin has rebuffed diplomatic efforts to have a doctor see Paul Whelan and now members of Congress are demanding his release, saying there are no grounds for the charges. [node:read-more:link]

Snowden wants to come home

Edward Snowden, the Central Intelligence Agency contractor who sought refuge in Moscow, says that while France and Germany are considering granting him asylum, he still hopes to return to the U.S. However, having leaked details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies, he says he wouldn’t get a fair trial back home. [node:read-more:link]

Election meddling a concern

The Communications Security Establishment and other intelligence resources are reported to be closely monitoring the possibility that at least six foreign government are working through their diasporas in Canada to influence the results of the Oct. 21 general election. A report cites China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP in damage control mode

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says the force is still trying to understand the fallout of allegations levelled against a senior civilian staffer. Cameron Ortis, director general of the RCMP's national intelligence coordination centre, has been charged with, among other things, preparing to share operational information with a foreign entity or terrorist group in the past year. [node:read-more:link]

Allies worry about Ortis fallout

Australia, Britain, France and the U.S., Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence community, are raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the director of an intelligence unit within the RCMP. Diplomatic sources say the alliance is concerned that Ortis, who has been arrested and charged, had access to their intelligence information. [node:read-more:link]


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