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]

Petroleum sector hacking expected

The Communications Security Establishment warned today that Russia-aligned non-state actors will continue trying to compromise Canada’s petroleum sector. “The intent of this activity is very likely to disrupt critical services for psychological impact, ultimately to weaken Canadian support for Ukraine,” it said in its latest threat assessment. “This activity will almost certainly continue for the duration of the war, and will likely increase as Russia’s invasion efforts falter, or new support for Ukraine is announced.” [node:read-more:link]

Electoral interference inquiry likely

After weeks of the government insisting that a public inquiry into foreign interference in Canada’s electoral processes was not required, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc has broached the possibility. Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said June 11 that he and other opposition leaders are willing to cooperate as long as the person chosen to head the inquiry “is independent and unbiased.” [node:read-more:link]

Johnston quitting as rapporteur

Former Governor-General David Johnston will resign before the end of June as the government’s special rapporteur on foreign interference in Canadian electoral processes. In his June 9 letter to the Prime Minister, he cited “the highly partisan atmosphere around my appointment and work” but promised a “brief final report” before stepping down. [node:read-more:link]

PM’s advisor admits intel gaps

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security advisor, Jody Thomas, acknowledged today that the government needs to improve its intelligence management and that officials are addressing communication breakdowns. Testifying before a parliamentary committee looking into foreign interference in Canadian politics, she declined to speculate what happened before she was appointed in January 2022. [node:read-more:link]

Singh calls Johnston “tone deaf”

Former Governor-General David Johnston, the prime minister’s special rapporteur on foreign interference in Canadian politics has “respectfully” dismissed an opposition call May 31 for him to stand aside. NDP Leader Jagmeet said today that “with all due respect to the service of Mr. Johnston and his previous public service, I believe that his response to the vote on our motion is tone-deaf.” [node:read-more:link]

O’Toole targetted by China

Former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, who is retiring from federal politics this summer, said May 30 that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has told him he was the target of Chinese interference intended to discredit him and promote false narratives about his policies before and during the 2021 general election. He also faulted the agency and the government for not warning him ag the time. [node:read-more:link]

China targets Vancouver MP

Vancouver NDP MP Jenny Kwan says she has been told by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that she is being targetted by the Chinese government. The Hong Kong-born MP was told May 26 that she was singled out during her 2019 re-election campaign and that she remains target because of her criticism of Beijing. [node:read-more:link]

Rapporteur summoned to committee

Opposition MPs on a parliamentary committee have called for former Governor-General David Johnston, the government’s rapporteur on foreign interference, to testify by June 6. “It's essential that we do hear from him,” a Conservative committee member said May 25. “We want to take a closer look at the conclusions that he has.” Johnston had already offered to appear before a committee. [node:read-more:link]

Cabinet confidentiality being relaxed

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to waive cabinet confidence rules for the National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and the National Security & Intelligence Review Agency. They are to be given legal access to confidential elements of the report on foreign interference in Canada. [node:read-more:link]


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