Ransomware a British preoccupation

The British government’s interdepartmental COBRA crisis management team has spent post of its recent meetings addressing ransomware attacks on utilities and other critical services rather than other emergencies. The focus seems to be a response to warnings by the National Cyber Security Centre that ministerial responses to the growing number of attacks was inadequate. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS saw no convoy security risk

A day before it invoked the Emergencies Act last winter to end the “Freedom Convoy” blockade of downtown Ottawa, the government was told by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that the protest was not a threat to national security. Nor, according to CSIS documents released today by the public inquiry into the government’s action, was the protest supported by foreign state interests. [node:read-more:link]

Could the Emergencies Act incite violence?

A day before the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act against “freedom” protestors in Ottawa February 14, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warned cabinet of a possibility that the law would “likely increase the number of Canadians who hold extreme anti-government views and push some toward the belief that violence is the only solution to what they perceive as a broken system and government.” Details became public November 7 during the ongoing commission of inquiry into the government’s decision. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs intel said ineffectual

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians,chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty, says Global Affairs Canada “is inconsistent, and in some areas completely absent” when it comes to tracking intelligence activities which could create diplomatic problems. In an unprecedented review of the department, the committee says the Foreign Affairs Minister is at risk of being left in the dark about operations but McGuinty said it's also incumbent on the minister to ask questions and demand to be informed. [node:read-more:link]

PM’s former bodyguard denies leaks

A former member of the RCMP and Prime Minister’s personal protection unit says he did not leak the PM’s schedule ahead of last winter’s “Freedom Convoy” gridlock in Ottawa. The allegation was in a redacted Ontario Provincial Police report to the inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act but Daniel Bulford, who resigned from the RCMP last December because he disagreed with the government’s vaccination mandate, adamantly rejected the suggestion. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa police said to support protestors

The Ottawa Police Service is investigating allegations that some officers leaked intelligence to organizers of last winter’s “Freedom Convoy” which gridlocked the city’s downtown for weeks. The investigation follows testimony before the inquiry into the government’s use of the Emergencies Act by a lawyer representing some protest organizers. [node:read-more:link]

Former PM bodyguard investigated

An investigation is under way into reports that a former member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's security team may have leaked the PM’s schedule, The issue came to light November 3 during the inquiry into the government’s use of the Emergency Act to end the “Freedom Convoy” protest in Ottawa last winter. A redacted intelligence document suggested that the officer, who resigned from the RCMP in 2021, believed that the government’s mandatory coronavirus vaccinations were unconstitutional. [node:read-more:link]

VIP protective service deficient

RCMP close protection units are running short of the personnel who protect politicians, the Governor General, Supreme Court judges, diplomats and visiting dignitaries. Responding to growing political pressure, the force says assignments other than those for specific federal cabinet members are based on threat assessments. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese charged with actions in U.S.

The U.S. has charged 13 Chinese nationals, including 10 government officials, of participating in schemes to repatriate critics of the Chinese government, obtain secret information about a U.S. investigation into a Chinese telecom firm and recruit spies. Attorney General Merrick Garland said October 24 that China had unsuccessfully “sought to interfere with the rights and freedoms of individuals . . . and to undermine our judicial system that protects those rights.” [node:read-more:link]

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]


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