Russia and China are believed to be no strangers to espionage and stealing other countries’ secrets by spying. But political experts are getting more and more alarmed about Moscow’s and Beijing’s espionage now that Donald Trump has been elected the next U.S. President.
What experts unambiguously agree on is that Trump keeps appointing people they fear could reveal America’s secrets to China and Russia. While Trump has long been accused of being too friendly towards Russia, a new wave of criticism has collapsed on the U.S. President-elect now that he has appointed retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
There are a few problems with Flynn holding such a high-ranking position in the United States. Many people fear that Flynn could assist Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has friendly ties with, to snoop into America’s most sensitive security secrets. Over the years, Flynn, who was fired from his last job in the U.S. military, has done quite a few controversial things that make people doubt that he can be trusted with the nation’s biggest security secrets.
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Flynn sat next to Putin after giving a paid speech in Moscow. The retired Army Lt. Gen called Islam “a cancer” in one of his speeches earlier this year. Flynn also had a few things to say about Hillary Clinton and outgoing President Barack Obama, calling for the former to be imprisoned and calling the latter a “liar” with no viable plan of destroying ISIS.
One of the most powerful people in the U.S. is Russia’s spy?
Some even believe that Flynn already has a deal with Putin to pass U.S. national security secrets to Russia once he officially takes up the post. While there is no evidence of that, it’s known for a fact that Flynn is now one of the most powerful people in the U.S. Being the President’s national security adviser, Flynn has a huge influence over the Pentagon, State Department and CIA – the three organizations that both Russia and China are accused of regularly trying to hack in order to snoop into U.S. secrets.
Now that Flynn is calling the shots for the three organizations dealing with national security matters and has unlimited access to America’s national security secrets, some fear he could be spying to benefit Russia’s interests.
Canada’s spy agency: Russia and China continue to spy on us
In fact, it seems that China and Russia may have the transcendental goal of snooping into Canada’s top secret information as well. Earlier this week, Canada’s spy agency warned that Russia and China continue to target the nation’s top secret information and national security systems. What makes this even more worrisome is that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service almost never identifies the country’s security threats, but it seems that Canada now views dealing the ever-increasing threat of espionage from Russia and China as its top priority.
The agency’s service director, Michel Coulombe, said in a statement, “Russia and China, in particular, continue to target Canada’s classified information and advanced technology, as well as government officials and systems.”
It’s been proven that Russia and China are ramping up their spy games against the U.S. and Canada on several occasions. For example, in 2013, a junior Canadian navy officer named Jeffrey Delisle was jailed for 20 years after confessing to passing classified Western intelligence to Russia. Delisle pleaded guilty to exchanging the top secret information in for cash and said it went on for four years.
What are Russian and Chinese spies trying to find?
The apparent espionage threat coming from Russia and China is nothing new. In fact, the briefing statement by Coulombe was issued at a March meeting of the Senate Committee on National Security and Defense. Although CSIS spokeswoman Tahera Mufti refused to reveal details of Canada’s investigation into Russian espionage, she insisted that the nation is being targeted by “a number of foreign states” that attempt to steal its “political, economic, and military information.”
Mufti added that Canada’s spy agency is concerned that some foreign states and their entities continue pursuing their “political, economic and territorial” interests through espionage. Mufti also said that foreign spies are targeting the Canadian economy, the nation’s strategic interests and assets and “societal institutions and members of the diaspora.”
Russia’s recent history of hacking the U.S.
American and Canadian security officials have emphasized that old-fashioned spying has been on the rise lately. Russia and China are said to be the culprits of most major espionage scandals.
Just recently, Russia was said to be at the center of the large-scale hack of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Many insist that the nation’s alleged hacking and revealing of Clinton’s traitorous behavior as former Secretary of State helped Trump win the presidential election earlier this month. Russia has also been accused of hacking the election system, and the nation’s hackers are accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election and its outcome.
If this theory turns out to be true, it means that the Russians wanted Trump to become the next U.S. President all along. It could also serve as fodder for the unsubstantiated claims that retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn could indeed serve Russia’s interests by passing over America’s classified information.
U.S. is the biggest snooper in the world?
Kirill Kalinin, a spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Canada, acknowledged after reviewing the recent Canadian spy agency’s notes that “information gathering is a vital component of national security of any state,” according to CBC. But Kalinin was quick to suggest that it’s actually the U.S. that’s the biggest global snooper and said the rest of the world should be concerned about it.
The Russians have long expressed their fears that America carries out espionage and surveillance on a global scale, and their fears have been evident from WikiLeaks revelations.
When Edward Snowden, a former contractor working with the U.S. National Security Agency, revealed that the agency carries out surveillance on a global scale, the rest of the world became understandably concerned about America’s espionage capabilities. Snowden alleged that the NSA’s capabilities are “unmatched in imposing surveillance on a global scale” through the bugging of electronic devices and eavesdropping. He even alleged that the U.S. imposes surveillance even on its closest allies, which means it could be fair to suggest that America is spying on Canada and the U.K.
China’s contradictory claims about espionage
Chinese spies are apparently not innocent either. In 2014, the Canadian government went public with its accusations that a Chinese state-sponsored actor hacked into the National Research Council’s networks. The intrusion resulted in a large-scale shutdown of the agency’s information-technology system.
However, China has denied the spying claims and accused Canada of making irresponsible accusations. In fact, Beijing officials have repeatedly assured the rest of the world that they oppose all forms of espionage and cyber-attacks. But if this is true, it surely contradicts Kalinin’s allegations that “information gathering is a vital component of national security of any state.”