Moscow, Beijing Targeting Canada’s Secret Info and Technology, Spy Agency Warns

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
November 23, 2016 Updated: November 23, 2016

OTTAWA—Canada’s spy agency is openly warning that Russia and China are out to steal the country’s most prized secrets.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which rarely identifies security threats by name, made the frank statement in briefing notes prepared for service director Michel Coulombe.

While Canada grapples with the problem of jihadi-inspired extremists, the long-standing threat of espionage is also a worrisome preoccupation, the spy agency says in the notes.

“Russia and China, in particular, continue to target Canada’s classified information and advanced technology, as well as government officials and systems.”

The Canadian Press used the Access to Information law to recently obtain the briefing materials, intended for use by Coulombe at a March meeting of the Senate committee on national security and defence.

Russia and China, in particular, continue to target Canada’s classified information and advanced technology, as well as government officials and systems.
— CSIS briefing note

Western security officials have stressed in recent years that old-fashioned spying has continued to thrive in the post-Cold War era—with occasional public flareups serving as pointed reminders.

Three years ago, junior Canadian navy officer Jeffrey Delisle was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to passing classified western intelligence to Russia in exchange for cash on a regular basis for more than four years.

More recently, U.S. officials blamed Moscow for pilfering Democratic Party emails that proved embarrassing to presidential contender Hillary Clinton when published by WikiLeaks. Russia has denied involvement.

Two years ago, the Canadian government squarely blamed a highly sophisticated, Chinese state-sponsored actor for an intrusion into the National Research Council’s networks that resulted in a shutdown of the research agency’s information-technology system for an extended period.

From The Canadian Press