Australia and Japan increase cooperation

Australia and Japan have signed a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation to share more intelligence and increase military cooperation amidst a growing Chinese presence in the region. Among other things, Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese and Fumio Kishida agreed October 23 to combined military training exercises in northern Australia. [node:read-more:link]

“Freedom” demos challenged governments

Less than a week into hearings examining the federal government's invocation of the Emergencies Act in response to the “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa and jammed border crossings, hundreds of documents have been made public. They shed some light on, among other things, the discussions between various levels of government and warnings about potential security threats. [node:read-more:link]

German cyberboss dismissed

Arne Schönbohm, head of the Federal Office for Information Security in Germany since 2016, was dismissed October 17 by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser after it was reported that he had links to Russian intelligence services. The specific claim is that a Russian cybersecurity firm set up by a former KGB agent is a member of the Cyber Security Council of Germany co-founded by Schönbohm in 2012. “All known allegations will be thoroughly and vigorously investigated and subjected to a detailed evaluation,” a ministry official explained. “Until this investigation has been completed, Mr. [node:read-more:link]

Russia and China “at war” with the West

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, has told a parliamentary committee that Russia and China consider themselves at war with the West and that they are “not just looking at regime survival but regime expansion.” The committee also heard from Caroline Xavier, chief of the Communications Security Establishment, that there is growing concern about cybercrime, with various state-sponsored entities a threat to Canada. country. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese cops in Canada?

In what is being called a tool for surveillance of the Chinese-Canadian diaspora, three “service stations” have been set up in Toronto by the Fuzhou Public Security Bureau, a Chinese police force. China insists that their mandate is to help expatriates deal with administrative issues, but Safeguard Defenders, an Asian human rights group, says they serve a darker purpose in Canada and dozens of other countries. [node:read-more:link]

Snowden now Russian citizen

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is now a citizen of Russia, thanks to President Vladimir Putin. Snowden, who has been living there since 2013 to escape prosecution for leaking classified documents, said in 2019 that he was willing to return to the U.S. if he could be guaranteed a fair trial. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity concerns justified

Canada’s security community has become increasingly vocal about foreign cyberthreats and the concern is evidently warranted, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Quebec in Montreal have identified at least 75 attacks since 2010, half involving espionage, and mostly government-orchestrated for political, economic or other purposes. [node:read-more:link]

Russia heavily into political meddling

A U.S. intelligence report declassified September 13 claims that Russia has spent the equivalent of more than US$300 million trying to influence politicians in more than 24 countries since 2014. “We think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” a White House official said, explaining that “Russia likely has transferred additional funds covertly in cases that have gone undetected.” [node:read-more:link]

Freeland rumoured for NATO role

What started as speculation in international defence and security circles — the notion that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland could succeed Jens Stoltenberg as Director-general of NATO — seems to have taken on some traction. However, when asked about the prospect September 7, she replied only that she already has “two busy jobs.” Stoltenberg’s term, which began in 2014, was recently extended to 2023. [node:read-more:link]

Mounties sympathetic to “Freedom Convoy”?

An RCMP threat advisory last February indicated that some members of the federal force sympathized with last winter’s disruptive “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa. “The potential exists for serious insider threats,” it stated. “Those who have not lost their jobs but are sympathetic to the movement and their former colleagues may be in a position to share law enforcement or military information to the convoy protests.” [node:read-more:link]

British girls trafficked to Islamic State?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said August 31 that the government will look into allegations by a British author in a new book that a Canadian Security and Intelligence Service contractor helped to traffic three British teenage girls to Islamic State extremists seven years ago. “The fight against terrorism requires our intelligence services to continue to be flexible and to be creative,” the PM said. “But every step of the way they are bound by strict rules . . . and we expect that those rules be followed.” [node:read-more:link]

Ortis security trial postponed

The trial of Cameron Jay Ortis, former head of the RCMP's National Intelligence Coordination Centre, on charges of breaching the Security of Information Act has been delayed until October 2023 after new defence counsel was appointed. His trial was supposed to begin in Ottawa next week. [node:read-more:link]

Russian disinformation targetted

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled plans today for a team which he said will focus on countering Russian disinformation and propaganda. The initiative is part of a package of new measures, including extended sanctions, designed to support Ukraine and punish Russia for invading Ukraine six months ago with global repercussions. [node:read-more:link]

Government warned about “freedom” backlash

Intelligence officers warned the government that if police were used to disperse the “Freedom Convoy” in Ottawa earlier this year, according to a redacted memorandum made public through an Access to Information request. The February 24 “threat highlight” advised that extremist “influencers” would leverage the outcome of the protests for recruitment and propaganda and that ideologs likely would “encourage violent revenge or as further evidence of government ‘tyranny’.” [node:read-more:link]

Russian hackers keeping busy

Microsoft has published new details about suspected Russian hackers who have carried out cyberespionage attacks against NATO government organizations, think tanks, and defence contractors since at least 2017. The company’s Threat Intelligence Center said August 15 that it has “taken actions to disrupt campaigns” launched by the group. [node:read-more:link]


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