Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Capitol Police sue Trump

Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers filed suit in federal court Aug. 27 against former President Donald Trump, alleging that he conspired with extremist groups to provoke the Jan. 6 attack on Congress. They argue that the attack was the culmination of months of rhetoric by Trump, who they say was aware of the potential for violence. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP intelligence culture seriously flawed

The arrest 23 months ago of Cameron Ortis, head of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Coordination Centre, prompted the force to hire a retired Assistant Commissioner Alphonse MacNeil to assess the NICC’s internal security culture. He found, among other things, that a leadership failure “at many levels” underscored a need to reconsider how senior officials are chosen. Otis’ trial on several offences is scheduled to begin in September 2022. [node:read-more:link]

Military and police targeted by extremists

A declassified intelligence report says far-right extremists are “actively recruiting” past and present members of the Canadian military and police. Six of 17 situations reviewed in several countries involved Canadians cases in which “xenophobic and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremist groups openly recruit current and former military and law enforcement personnel.” [node:read-more:link]

Germany arrests alleged spy

A British citizen hired locally to work at his country’s embassy in Berlin has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia “at least once” in exchange for an “unknown amount” of money. The arrest resulted from a joint investigation and British police confirmed the arrest. [node:read-more:link]

Seventies nationalist movements monitored

Newly-accessed documents show that the growing nationalist movement in Canada a half-century ago was closely monitored by the RCMP Security Service. The Committee for an Independent Canada, founded in 1970 to promote economic and cultural independence, was among the targets seen as ripe for “exploitation or manipulation” by radicals. [node:read-more:link]

Parliamentary privilege v. government secrecy

The Speaker of the House of Commons says a government attempt to shield documents related to the firing of two scientists is a violation of parliamentary privilege. In a notice of motion filed in Federal Court, Anthony Rota, a Liberal MP, says the House has the power to send for any “persons, papers and records” it deems necessary. “This constitutionally entrenched power is fundamental to our system of parliamentary democracy, and to Parliament's critical role in acting as the ‘grand inquest of the nation’ and in holding the executive branch of government to account.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian right-wing more aggressive

vA British report states that online activity by right-wing extremists in Canada increased last year despite efforts by governments and social media companies to curb extremism and hate speech. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue also found that Canadian extremists are influenced by their increasingly violent U.S. counterparts. [node:read-more:link]

Venezuelan opposition figure arrested

Freddy Guevara, a close ally of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, has been charged with terrorism and treason by President Nicolás Maduro’s left-wing administration, which also accuses him of having ties to “extremist groups” and foreign governments. Guaidó is seen by most western governments as the legitimate leader but Maduro has Russian and Chinese support. [node:read-more:link]

Security crackdown on intellectual property

University researchers seeking federal government grants are now required to complete a security risk assessment and work with national security agencies and the federal government in a bid to prevent foreign interests from acquiring Canadian intellectual property. The decision, initially applicable to the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council but expected to be broadened, was announced today by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne. [node:read-more:link]

Health agency head admonished by Commons

Public Health Agency of Canada President Iain Stewart appeared before the bar just inside the House of Commons today, having been summoned in a rare procedural move for failing to turn over documents about the firing of two scientists at Canada’s highest security lab. Haines, who insists that he is prevented by law from releasing the documents, stood silently for some 30 minutes before being permitted to leave, leaving MPs to continue a political squabble over the issue. [node:read-more:link]

Procurement policy overhaul recommended

An all-party House of Commons committee says the government should give more weight to national security than costs of information technology and security hardware procurements. In its report to Parliament, the committee expressed concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises and recommended more rigorous screening of contractors who install and maintain equipment in sensitive facilities such as embassies. [node:read-more:link]

Conservatives abandoning security committee

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is pulling his MPs out of the National Intelligence and Security Committee, saying it has been used to cover up sensitive documents about the National Microbiology Laboratory. The Conservatives have been pressing the government for weeks for details about the removal of two Chinese employees from the Winnipeg facility and its relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. [node:read-more:link]

Fired Chinese researchers case reviewed

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty is reviewing Public Health Agency of Canada documents about the case of two Chinese scientists who were fired from the Natiional Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg two years ago amid a shroud of secrecy. Two national security experts are speculating about alleged espionage but the Chinese foreign ministry says “normal” scientific cooperation with Canada “should not be politicized.” [node:read-more:link]

Denmark defends European relationship

Reports that Danish intelligence helped the U.S. to spy on European leaders several years ago are neither being denied nor commented on directly, but Prime Minister Mette Freederiksen said June 2 that her country has solid relations with its allies. “I do not think it is correctly presented that there is a need to restore relations with either France or Germany,” she said. “We have an ongoing dialogue.” [node:read-more:link]

European spying allegations resurrected

Eight years after it was alleged that the U.S. had spied on some of its allies, European leaders are once again demanding explanations after new claims. The original claim focused on Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel but the latest focuses on a report that Danish intelligence had worked with the U.S. After talks with Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron said any he expects “completely open” clarification. [node:read-more:link]


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