Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Concerns about CSE polygraphs

The Community Security Establishment’s use of polygraph tests as part of its agent recruitment process is being assessed by the National Security and Intelligence Review. The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected the use of polygraph results as evidence in court but NSIRA investigators say the review should include sampling the results of current and prospective CSE personnel’s “lie detector” tests, a proposal the CSE says raises serious personal privacy concerns. [node:read-more:link]

DHS agents in Chinese spy plot

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent and a former agent have been indicted in connection with an alleged Chinese scheme to stalk, harass and spy on U.S.-based Chinese critics. The Justice Department said July 7 that the pair are accused of accessing and providing information about cfiticsactivists from a government database. [node:read-more:link]

Russian diplomats expelled from Bulgaria

Seventy Russian diplomatic staff in Bulgaria were expected to have left the country by July 3, reducing Moscow’s footprint by more than half. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov explained that “our services identified them as people who worked against our interests.” Many European countries have expelled Russians since the invasion of Ukraine began February 24 and Moscow has generally responded in kind. [node:read-more:link]

Suspected Russian “deep sleeper” named

An alleged Russian spy studying in an elite program favoured by the U.S. military at the Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies in Washington evidently was betrayed by his accent. When a classmate asked “Victor Muller” outright, he replied that he was Brazilian, but it was found be to part of an elaborate “deep sleeper” cover intelligence agent Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov sought to parlay into a position at the International Court of Justice. [node:read-more:link]

Intel struggles with threat assessment

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says it faces the same challenges as its U.S. counterparts, which struggled with inconsistent analysis and “a lack of consensus” in the weeks leading up to the January 2021 riot and invasion of the Capitol. A briefing note five months later includes CSIS observations for sharing with public safety, defence, immigration and justice department officials. [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]

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]

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]

Canadian scientist victimized by U.S.

Anming Hu, a Canadian scientist who worked at the University of Tennessee until his career was derailed by unjustified accusations of having ties with China, has been legally vindicated. However, having returned to his laboratory, he has found himself having to rebuild his work due to missing and damaged equipment. [node:read-more:link]

Cameron Ortis case still in court

A lawyer for Cameron Ortis, the former director general of the RCM:’s intelligence coordination centre charged with violating the Security of Information Act, wants at least part of the case against him stayed. Arrested in 2019, Ortis is accused of trying to share sensitive information with a foreign entity or terrorist organization. Federal Court has been looking into whether sensitive and potentially injurious information could be disclosed in open court or should be protected for national security reasons. [node:read-more:link]

CIA spying on Americans again

Even though the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s main operational focus is abroad, two Democrat members of the Senate intelligence committee say it has conducted warrantless dometic surveillance through a newly disclosed program. They have called for declassifying details of the program which senior intelligence had denied under oath to Congress. The CIA released one declassified report last week but withheld another, citing the need to protect “sensitive tradecraft methods and operational sources.” [node:read-more:link]

that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks

Citing “mounting evidence that Chinese state-owned carriers pose a real threat to the security of our telecommunications networks” the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has added a second company to its banned list. Hong Kon-based China Unicom has been directed to stop service in the U.S. within 60 days, joining Beijing-based China Telecom, which had its licence revoked last October. [node:read-more:link]

Russian charged with espionage in Germany

German prosecutors have charged a Russian citizen with espionage, alleging he had passed information on aerospace technology, in particular the European Space Agency’s Ariane launch vehicle, to Russia’s foreign intelligence service. Prosecutors said today that the man had worked as a researcher at a Bavarian university until his arrest last summer. [node:read-more:link]


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