China, Russia push foreign interference in Canada to Cold War levels: Spy agency

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Apr 13, 2021, 10:03 AM(IST)

Canada Flag(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons). Photograph:( Others )

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According to CSIS, national security threats like extremism, foreign interference, espionage, and cyber activity with malicious intent rose majorly in 2020

Instances of foreign interference and spying in Canada have hit levels unseen since the Cold War, Canada’s spy agency said on Monday. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) said that these breaches were a product of vulnerabilities made apparent due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency also singled out Russia and China as primary causes of concern. According to CSIS, national security threats like extremism, foreign interference, espionage, and cyber activity with malicious intent rose majorly in 2020.

In its yearly report, CSIS linked the surge in foreign spying to the increasing number of people working from home during the pandemic.

"Foreign threat actors — including hostile intelligence services and those working on their behalf — have sought to exploit the social and economic conditions created by the pandemic”, the statement read.

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In February, the head of CSIS said that China posed a serious strategic threat. In addition, CSIS identified state-run programmes in China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia for the first time ever. The report continues to build on increasing threat from China and Russia.

The agency added how in 2020, it observed espionage and foreign interference at levels not seen since the Cold War. "In 2020, CSIS observed espionage and foreign interference activity at levels not seen since the Cold War," its statement said.

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In addition, it focused on how China and Russia continue to use various to increase their own goals while compromising the data of other countries.

"China, Russia, and other foreign states continued to covertly gather political, economic, and military information in Canada through targeted threat activities in support of their own state development goals”, Reuters cited the report as saying.

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