Insider Threat / Espionage

Insider espionage

Extended U.S. 5G restrictions

President Joe Biden has signed off on legislation designed to prevent Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, deemed by the U.S. to be national security threats, from receiving new Federal Communications Commission licences. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese telecom’s licence revoked

Citing “national security” concerns, the U.S. has revoked the licence of China Telecom and told it to stop U.S. services by late December. State Department officials said Chinese government control of the company, which has provided services in the U.S. for 20 years and has customers in 110 countries, gives it an opportunity “to engage in espionage and other harmful activities.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. agencies buying Chinese drones

The Secret Service is the latest U.S. agency to have bought drones from a Chinese company the Defense Department considers a potential national security. Manufactured by Shenzhen-based DJI, they have become a global stable for recreational and other applications. It’s reported that efforts to block other U.S. law enforcement agencies and the military from similar procurements have become stuck in bureaucratic red tape. [node:read-more:link]

Canada seeks to ban whistleblower

An attempt by a former U.S. Army private who leaked U.S. secrets about the wars in Afghanistan and whose 35-year prison sentence in 3013 was commuted after seven years is about to be reviewed by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Federal officials are preparing to argue that Chelsea Manning’s offence render her inadmissible even though she was permitted entry in 2018 for a brief visit. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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