World

Russia, China Target Canada's Top Secret Security Info

| by Sarah Zimmerman

Canada's spy agency warns that China and Russia are after the country's most confidential information. 

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) sent briefing notes to service director Michel Coulombe, saying that the country may have an espionage problem on its hands, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

"Russia and China, in particular, continue to target Canada's classified information and advanced technology, as well as government officials and systems," the notes reads.

This isn't the first time Russia has been accused of trying to gain access to confidential information, according to The New York Times. In October, the United States claimed that Russia was responsible for hacking into the Democratic National Committee's email server and releasing information proving that the organization was attempting to ensure that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would receive the Democratic nomination for president.

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U.S. director of national intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., stated that the hack was Russia's attempt to interfere and influence the outcome of the presidential election. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement whatsoever.

It is unclear why Russia or China would want to hack into Canada's intelligence agency, CBC reports. CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti refused to comment on the details of the case, but did confirm that the country is a target for international hackers.

"Canada remains a target for the traditional espionage activities of a number of foreign states, which continue to gather political, economic, and military information in Canada through clandestine means," she said, according to the CBC. "States and other entities abroad have interests — political, economic and territorial — and will pursue those interests by a variety of means."

Spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Canada Kirill Kalinin did not deny that Russia is probably trying to gather intelligence information through covert means, saying that "information gathering is a vital component of national security of any state."

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But, he stressed that Canada should be less worried about Russia and China and more worried about the United States, who has the most sophisticated surveillance technology and is best-equipped to spy on even its closest ally.

The U.S. Security is "unmatched in imposing surveillance on a global scale," according to Kalinin. Given the revelations of the scope of U.S. surveillance released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Kalinin claims that more countries should be worried about the U.S.'s capabilities to spy not just in its own country, but also abroad.

Sources: CBC, The New York Times / Photo Credit: joy_acharjee/Flickr

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