Era of espionage not over, CSIS says

Spies now focus on labs and boardrooms, not military HQs.

OTTAWA -- The Cold War is long over, but foreign spies are still trying to infiltrate key federal departments in a continuing quest for secrets, says Canada's intelligence agency.

In its latest annual report, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service warns scientific and technological developments in Canada's natural resource sector are also a prime target.

CSIS used the report, tabled in Parliament yesterday, to remind Canadians that the threat of espionage remains worrisome even though terrorism has become the main concern of the modern era.

Increasing global competition is prompting foreign spies to shift their focus away from the political and military secrets of the past and toward illicit acquisition of economic and technological information, the report says.

While CSIS singles out no country by name in the report, the service says both "traditionally hostile and ostensibly friendly" governments have engaged in spying against Canada.

Guansheng Han, a security official who defected from China, told CP last year that Beijing cultivates sources in the Canadian Chinese community as a way of gleaning intelligence on key economic sectors, including the biopharmaceutical industry.

China has denied spying on other countries.

According to CSIS, Canada has been targeted by nations seeking advantages in fields such as aerospace, biotechnology, chemicals, communications, information technology, mining, metallurgy, nuclear energy, oil, gas and environmental technologies.

London Free Press

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