Chinese motives transparent

CSIS Director David Vigneault has confirmed to his Australian, British, New Zealand and U.S. counterparts that China’s interest in Canadian university partnerships is defence-related. “China has been very transparent,” he said during an October 17 meeting of the Five Eyes alliance in California. “Everything that they’re doing in our universities and in new technology, it’s going back into a system very organized to create dual-use applications for the military.” [node:read-more:link]

Potential CSE staffing crisis

Reports of a staff shortage at the Communications Security Establishment have been confirmed by the agency’s chief, Caroline Xavier. “Talk to any other CEO that manages a technical organization, they will all tell you we're competing for top talent,” she says. “It is potentially a national crisis, but it’s not a crisis only for CSE.” [node:read-more:link]

Former U.S. Army sergeant investigated

U.S. authorities are investigating the activities of a former Army sergeant recently arrested after spending time in China. On active duty for five years, most recently at a base in Washington state until he left the service in 2020, Joseph Schmidt is accused of offering China national defense information. [node:read-more:link]

Business wants better security

The Business Council of Canada wants the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to have legislated authority power to work more closely with foreign-targetted companies. In a 19-page report today, the lobby group of senior corporate executives and entrepreneurs says that “for decades now, successive Canadian governments have overlooked, taken for granted, or simply ignored the principle that economic security is national security.” [node:read-more:link]

Germans face treason charges

A recently-promoted German intelligence officer has been charged with treason for sharing intelligence with Russia about the war in Ukraine and the Wagner Group. In addition, a Russian-born German business is accused of travelling to Moscow to hand over information to Russia’s domestic intelligence agency. [node:read-more:link]

Potential Chinese spying alleged

U.S. officials say that Chinese nationals, some posing as tourists, who have accessed military bases and other sensitive sites in recent years, are a potential espionage threat. The more than 100 incidents in recent years have included entries into a New Mexico missile range to scuba divers in murky waters near a Florida launch site. [node:read-more:link]

Global Affairs criticized by NSICOP

The National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians has “identified significant weaknesses” in Global Affairs Canada’s governance, especially on intelligence activities. NSICOP said July 19 that while GAC has appropriate consultation structures in place with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, its relations with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are “largely informal.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. blacklists researchers

Chinese and Russian research institutes accused of “problematic activity” in the U.S. have been blacklisted by the Defense Department, which partners with hundreds of universities and institutions. When those bodies received funding from the now-banned entities, the relationship reportedly has been exploited for potential access to U.S. research. [node:read-more:link]

Government cybersecurity ineffectual?

The Communications Security Establishment says that despite a warning last year by the National Security & Intelligence Committee of Parliament­arians, less than half of Crown corporations and smaller departments and agencies are adequately protected against state-sponsored attacks. “Since March 2020, the number […] signed up for our sensors has grown from 12 to 37 (out of 86),” the CSE says, underscoring the broader risk to the government as a whole. [node:read-more:link]

Hockey player charged with spying

Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro says a Russian member of a major Polish hockey team has been detained on a charge of espionage. Arrested several weeks ago in southwestern Poland, he is one of 14 citizens of countries east of Poland who are suspected of monitoring rail traffic, spreading pro-Russia propaganda and plotting sabotage. [node:read-more:link]

Mixed U.S. view of Ukrainian support

Results of a recently-completed U.S. poll on national security issues show that while 76% of the respondents feel that a Ukrainian victory over its Russian invaders is important to U.S. interests, they were divided on support. Some 59% supported sending military aid but 30% were opposed. [node:read-more:link]

Suspected Chinese spies in Alaska

U.S. officials are worried that Chinese nations posing as tourists have made several attempts in recent years to gain access to military facilities in Alaska. Many of the encounters have been chalked up to innocent mistakes but the attempts to enter military bases are a genuine concern. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa not taking security seriously?

More than 60 former sen ior security officials, military commanders and politicians, including five former defence ministers, are pressing the federal government to take security and defence more seriously. Along with a former Supreme Court of Canada judge, they have shared their concerns in a letter released April 17 by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. [node:read-more:link]

CSE reports increased cyber threat

There has been a “notable” increase in cyber threat activity by Russia-aligned actors, the Communications Security Establishment reported April 13. “These are attention-grabbing, but do not mean the website has been hacked or that any information has been compromised,” said Sami Khoury, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the CSE. [node:read-more:link]


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