Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Canada contaminated by U.S. politics

Eurasia Group, a New York consultancy that assesses political risk, says Canada is showing signs of the same political contagion and polarization afflicting the U.S. “The media environment in Canada and the social media environment in Canada is (sic) increasingly resembling the . . . environment in the United States,” EG President Ian Bremmer said on releasing the consultancy’s latest annual global assessment, which included a report on Canada. “It is dysfunctional. It is rife with disinformation. It is deeply polarized.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa man faces trial for threats

Daniel Houde, a 19-year-old Ottawa resident, is to appear in court January 18 to face charges of perpetrating a terrorist hoax, uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm to a person, and uttering a threat to burn, destroy and damage property. RCMP say he was arrested after posting threats on social media against the Department of National Defence as well as the U.S. and Chinese embassies in Ottawa. [node:read-more:link]

Foreign interference on the rise

Veteran CSIS analyst Noura Hayek says there has been an “alarming escalation” of espionage and foreign interference in Canada in the past few years. “They’re real, they’re persistent, they’re increasing,” she told a Council on Governmental Ethics Laws conference December 4. “We see it every day . . . and these activities will be targeting all level of governments.” [node:read-more:link]

Letter bombs attacks in Spain

Spanish authorities were dealing today with a series of letter-bombs, one of which injured a security officer at the Ukrainian embassy. Other targets included Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Early indications suggest that all five packages intercepted so far were sent from within Spain, the country's Deputy Interior Minister told journalists. [node:read-more:link]

No confirmation of Chinese meddling

Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault told a House of Commons committee November 22 that he received no reports about Chinese interference in the 2019 federal election. Responding to published reports that the alleged meddling included campaign funding for at least unidentified candidates, he said “there's no reason to believe that it was not a free and fair election” but the Commissioner of Canada Elections has received a Bloc Québécois complaint about the claims. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS threat responses outdated

Talking points prepared for CSIS Director David Vigneault warn that the agency has failed to keep up with national security threats because its governing legislation is outdated. Drafted for a September 21 meeting of deputy ministers, the notes said that Canada risks becoming a “weak link” in its international intelligence-sharing chain. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese spy sentenced in U.S.

A Chinese intelligence officer who was convicted a year ago by a jury in Cincinnati of running a spy ring that included a U.S. Army reservist has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the Justice Department announced today. Yanjun Xu ha been charged with conspiracy to commit economic espionage, conspiracy to commit trade secret theft, attempted economic espionage and attempted trade secret theft. [node:read-more:link]

Committee to tackle electoral meddling

MPs on a House of Commons procedural committee agreed November 14 to investigate reports that Chinese agents interfered in the Canadian political process. Alberta Conservative Michael Cooper requested the committee meeting to look into a “sophisticated campaign” to “subvert Canadian democracy.” Liberals on the committee agreed to the inquiry but suggested the bicameral National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians would be a better venue. [node:read-more:link]

Hydro-Québec researcher charged with espionage

Yuesheng Wang, 35, a Montreal-area employee of Hydro-Québec arrested today by RCMP, faces four charges arising from the alleged sale of trade secrets to China “to the detriment of Canada's economic interests.” A battery researcher in the utility’s Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage, Wang is accused of, among other things, using a computer without authorization and with fraud and breach of trust. RCMP were acting on a complaint by the utility’s security division. [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]

Former NSA employee charged with espionage

A former National Security Agency employee was charged in U.S. federal court September 29 with three Espionage Act offences arising from attempts to sell classified cyber operation information to what he believed was a foreign government. Jareh Dalke, 30, who had worked as an information systems security designer at the NSA for less than a month this summer, actually was trapped by an undercover FBI agent. [node:read-more:link]

Russia detains Japanese diplomat

Japan wants a formal apology from Russia after security services allegedly blindfolded and restrained its consul in Vladivostok. Accused of espionage, Motoki Tatsunori, was freed from custody today and given 48 hours to leave Russia. [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]

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]

White supremacists targetted by Congress

The U.S. House or Representatives has approved an amendment to its latest defence spending bill which could compel the Defense and Homeland Security departments to report on instances of white supremacy and neo-Nazi activity in uniformed services and federal law enforcement. [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Insider Threat / Espionage