Police “catch and release” problematic

A report on the relationship between the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP suggests that their information-sharing needs an overhaul, starting with why police are asked to make arrests on grounds of national security. In one profiled case, RCMP officers quit when asked to carry out an arrest without being told the reasons. [node:read-more:link]

Sinophobia or genuine security issues?

That’s a question the Liberals and NDP hope to answer by having a special parliamentary committee examine unredacted documents which might explain the abrupt dismissal of two Chinese-Canadian scientists from the national microbiology laboratory in Winnipeg in January 2021. But the Conservatives want a regular committee to examine the papers, prompting accusations that they want to politicize the mystery. [node:read-more:link]

Gitmo detainee suing Ottawa

The federal government is being sued by a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was held without trial. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian who lived briefly in Montreal and now resides in The Netherlands, is seeking $35 million in damages on grounds that faulty Canadian intelligence contributed to his detention. [node:read-more:link]

Cybersecurity hiring problematic

The Communications Security Establishment says finding recruitment a challenge even though the government has pledged nearly $1 billion to bolster cybersecurity. The CSE receives 10,000-15,000 job applications annually but only one or two applicants are hired. “Recruitment for high-tech organizations remains challenging and highly competitive,” spokesman Evan Koronewski says. [node:read-more:link]

Russia targetting LNG facilities?

An alarmingly sophisticated and effective system for attacking industrial facilities, including the energy sector, has been disclosed by U.S. officials. While they have not said which country was the source, private analysts say it is likely Russian in origin and that the priority targets are likely liquefied natural gas plants. [node:read-more:link]

Former U.S. analyst barred from Canada

Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, is prohibited from entering Canada due to her 2013 conviction for leaking classified information. Ruling on her case last week, an Immigration and Refugee Board agreed with the federal government that Manning, who U.S. sentence has been commuted, should be denied entry. Her lawyers say they will seek a judicial review of the ruling. [node:read-more:link]

Khashoggi trial handed to Saudis

A Turkish court has suspended the trial in absentia of 26 Saudi Arbanians accused of killing U.S. journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 and the Turkish government today approved a prosecution request for a transfer of proceedings to Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups say the move would lead to a cover-up of the killing, which U.S. intelligence linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. [node:read-more:link]

Canada challenges grisly disinformation

Russian efforts to build support for its invasion of Ukraine by claiming that that Ukraine has been harvesting organs from fallen soldiers as well as women and children have resulted in a rare public warning by Canada’s Security Establishment. The CSE says there has been a coordinated effort by Moscow to create and spread the false reports and that there had been “amplified fake stories and narratives falsely claiming that only military targets were being attacked, and that civilian causalities in Ukraine were lower than what confirmed.” [node:read-more:link]

EU states expelling Russian diplomats

Forty-three Russian diplomats suspected of espionage, nearly half in Belgium alone, are being expelled in a coordinated move which also involves the Czech Republic, Ireland and the Netherlands. The announcement today follows similar actions by other EU members. [node:read-more:link]

Military and security prominent in U.S. budget plan

A $5.8-trillion budget plan released today by the White House reflects growing security and economic concerns at home and abroad, including $773 billion in defence spending, nearly 10 per cent more than eventually approved by Congress for 2021. The administration said the hike reflects ongoing overseas threats such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a growing risk of cyberattacks. Dedicated Veterans Affairs medical care funding also is part of the plan as is a four-per-cent increase to $813.3 billion in the national security envelope [node:read-more:link]

Poland expelling 45 Russians

Forty-five Russians accused by Poland of using their diplomatic status as a cover for intelligence work were ordered out today. Ambassador Sergei Andreev, insisting that his staff were “carrying out normal diplomatic and trade activity,” pointed out that Moscow has the right to reciprocate. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine and Estonia spyware sales blocked

Requests by Ukraine and Estonia to purchase the Israeli-developed Pegasus spyware reportedly have been rejected by the Israeli defence ministry government in recent years over concerns that it would be used to hack Russian phones and sour Jerusalem’s relations with the Kremlin. The ministry prevented the sale by refusing to give export licences to the developer, NSO Group, which has been implicated in other foreign customers’ misuse of the software. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese intel challenged in U.S.

Chinese-American dissidents in New York have long suspected that China’s intelligence services had infiltrated their ranks. Federal prosecutors in the Justice Department have announced charges in three cases that they say underscore the severity of the problem. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS warned CSA of security concerns

A former Canadian Space Agency engineer who allegedly used his position to act on behalf of a Chinese company was the subject of a Canadian Security Intelligence Service warning about his “reliability” as early as 2015. Court documents indicate that despite three warnings, Wanping Zheng, who is charged with breach of trust, had his security clearance renewed by the CSA in April 2017. [node:read-more:link]

Assange extradition unblocked

Britain’s high court has refused to allow Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s latest appeal against extradition to the U.S. but the legal challenge isn’t over. A court official said today that the latest appeal did not raise “an arguable point of law,” which means his case reverts to the district court judge who had assessed the extradition request. Home Secretary is then expected to make a final decision. [node:read-more:link]


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