Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Alleged spy’s lawyer awaits more information

The lawyer for Cameron Ortis, the RCMP intelligence director accused of preparing to share classified secrets, says he is waiting for key information. Ian Carter says he only has an initial synopsis of the case against his client but does expect more disclosure by the Crown this week. [node:read-more:link]

Protecting the electoral process

An appropriations bill which would commit $250 million for improvements to the security of U.S. elections has been endorsed by senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who has opposed the notion. Congress now has to reconcile the Senate bill with a House of Representatives proposal for to spend $600 million on the issue. [node:read-more:link]

“Selling fear” a dubious strategy

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ithin he U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says government and industry should not be “selling fear” if they want broader community engagement in fighting digital threats. [node:read-more:link]

Stricter U.S. research rules?

Kelvin Droegemeier, the new science advisor to President Donald Trump is moving to bolster U.S. policies on research security. Recent U.S.-China political has spilled into the research community which has been pushing back against federal agencies investigating foreign-born scientists. [node:read-more:link]

Snowden wants to come home

Edward Snowden, the Central Intelligence Agency contractor who sought refuge in Moscow, says that while France and Germany are considering granting him asylum, he still hopes to return to the U.S. However, having leaked details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies, he says he wouldn’t get a fair trial back home. [node:read-more:link]

Election meddling a concern

The Communications Security Establishment and other intelligence resources are reported to be closely monitoring the possibility that at least six foreign government are working through their diasporas in Canada to influence the results of the Oct. 21 general election. A report cites China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP in damage control mode

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says the force is still trying to understand the fallout of allegations levelled against a senior civilian staffer. Cameron Ortis, director general of the RCMP's national intelligence coordination centre, has been charged with, among other things, preparing to share operational information with a foreign entity or terrorist group in the past year. [node:read-more:link]

Allies worry about Ortis fallout

Australia, Britain, France and the U.S., Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence community, are raising questions about the type of information accessible to Cameron Ortis as the director of an intelligence unit within the RCMP. Diplomatic sources say the alliance is concerned that Ortis, who has been arrested and charged, had access to their intelligence information. [node:read-more:link]

Kaspersky ban finalized

All U.S. civil and military organizations will be prohibited, effective Sept. 17, from using cybersecurity products or other software produced by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab. In finalizing the decision, the administration is acting on legislation approved by Congress in response to intelligence community concerns that Kaspersky executives could be forced by Moscow to share information. [node:read-more:link]

Security breaches at RCMP?

Cameron Ortis, a civilian RCMP director general, is facing charges arising from alleged intelligence breaches which have prompted concerns about whether there are implications not only domestically but also with Canada’s allies. He has been charged under the Security of Information Act which deals with communicating or confirming special operational information. [node:read-more:link]

Huawei “instrumentality”

A former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security says the U.S. should not use telecom giant Huawei as leverage in broader trade negotiations with China. Tom Ridge says Huawei has repeatedly shown that it is “an instrumentality” of Beijing. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese company names sought

A bipartisan group of Members of Congress wants to identify Chinese companies which might “steal” western technologies for military use. A Chinese embassy spokesperson in Washington dismissed their concerns as groundless, calling the move evidence of a “cold war mentality.” [node:read-more:link]

Huawei 5G tech for sale

In an bid to end a western blockade against its 5G technology, Huawei is offering to sell its software to a western company which then could rewrite problematic code. The U.S. has been urging its allies not to permit 5G over concerns that alleged “backdoors” would enable the Chinese government to spy on telecom systems. [node:read-more:link]

Russian mole details emerge

While Russian officials are dismissing reports that the U.S. had a mole in the Kremlin for many years, Russian media have published a name. Oleg Smolenkov, an aide to President Vladimir Putin, reportedly was extracted amid fears his cover was about to be blown. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed feelings about biometrics

A new Pew Research Centre study indicates that although Americans are becoming more receptive to biometric scans and facial recognition technologies, their growing acceptance is so far limited to law enforcement’s use. They apparently are less trusting of the private sector. [node:read-more:link]


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