Intelligence and National Security Discussion

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Aditya G » 09 Sep 2017 13:28

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 409192.cms

NEW DELHI: Over 2,000 personnel of a "dying" paramilitary cadre will be "transferred" to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to boost the on-ground presence of the agency on the eastern borders, where India is bolstering its defences by building roads and other military infrastructure.
A total of 2,765 posts of the civilian cadre of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will be shifted to the IB command over the next year. Of these posts, 2,039 are operational.

"The civil wing of the SSB should be transferred to the IB lock, stock and barrel, including land, physical infrastructure, equipment among others," a government blueprint, accessed by PTI, said.
A top security official privy to the "ambitious" plan said a 300-page proposal for the transfer of the assets -- both manpower and infrastructure -- had been prepared at the SSB headquarters here and had been vetted by the home ministry and the office of the national security advisor (NSA) for final implementation.

He added that the manpower of the civil wing of the SSB, which is termed as "dying" as it does not have promotional and work avenues, would be deployed to bolster the IB's presence in the eastern border areas, where these officials have worked for long.

The average age of the cadre, the official said, was above 50 years and the personnel had done a lot of work with the people living along the Nepal and Bhutan borders.

They not only helped them integrate with the mainstream, but also acted as the "eyes and ears" of the SSB, the designated lead intelligence agency on the two borders.

The cadre was first raised in 1963, in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression of the previous year, to work in the border areas and promote a sense of national belonging and pro-India feelings among the local population.

It worked under the external intelligence agency -- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) -- till 2001, under the name Special Service Bureau.
The name of the force was changed to Sashastra Seema Bal in 2003, following the 1999 Kargil conflict. It was then tasked with guarding the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders on the country's eastern flank.

"The transfer of the civilian SSB cadre will begin once the long-awaited cadre restructuring of the force is approved and implemented. All this will take about a year to take shape," the official said.

The blueprint envisages that once these officials are transferred to the IB, they will be "utilised for different activities related to intelligence, keeping in view the expertise and proficiency of the incumbents".

"These personnel have only been doing civic action work and publicity of government schemes in the far-flung border areas and anti-Naxal operation zones for close to two decades now.

"After the SSB was declared an armed force of the Union in 2001, they became a dying cadre as they were not uniformed personnel. Now, their experience and knowledge of the locals, languages and natural features of the border areas will be used to aid the hardcore intelligence work of the IB," the official said.

He added that as per the blueprint, the cadre, after the proposed transfer, "will be treated at par with the IB employees" and some of them might even be retained post retirement considering their expertise and knowledge of the field areas.

The cadre, for the last over 50 years, has been working in insurgency-hit areas along the border and Naxal-hit states, undertaking civic welfare programmes such as teaching children in schools, conducting medical camps and organising vocational training courses.

The men and women of this cadre were seen as fast losing their sheen as they were not getting timely promotions and could not opt for combat posts as their physical fitness did not allow them to perform arduous tasks and their recruitment rules were different from those of the uniformed staffers.

The SSB, with a strength of about 70,000 personnel, has been guarding the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal border since 2001 and the 699-km Indo-Bhutan border since 2004.

It is deployed along the international border in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, with many of its posts located close to the Sino-India border.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2017 07:18

So minor reform.
Hope IB utilizes the expertise.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Rahul M » 07 Dec 2017 19:40

http://zeenews.india.com/india/china-sp ... 61277.html

China spying through 42 apps, delete them: Intelligence Bureau to soldiers

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Singha » 08 Dec 2017 09:35

IBNLIve - is this a good or bad thing .

New Delhi: In a significant development, elite export control regime Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Thursday decided to admit India as its new member, which is expected to raise New Delhi's stature in the field of non-proliferation besides helping it acquire critical technologies.

The decision was taken at the two-day plenary meeting of the grouping in Vienna.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Aditya_V » 08 Dec 2017 10:49

In some ways it can be good , especially if this part is true

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassenaar_Arrangement

Every six months member countries exchange information on deliveries of conventional arms to non-Wassenaar members that fall under eight broad weapons categories: battle tanks, armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs), large-caliber artillery, military aircraft, military helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems, and small arms and light weapons.


So except for Chinese deliveries we would know every other type of armament Pakis are getting.

Chinis seem to be out of this, But then Russians and Other western Countries should be sharing what is being supplied to the PLA, PLAAF, PLAN and then used for the term "Reverse Engineered".

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby wig » 26 Jan 2018 13:00

https://www.indiatoday.in/mail-today/st ... 2018-01-26



a group has decided to expose villains of the Valley by making personal details such as geolocation and bank details of terror outfits like ISIS sympathisers public.
excerpts
Cyber sleuths bust network of terror supporters, set to reveal names
Mallu Cyber Soldiers have busted a network of terror supporters, who are spilling venom in the minds of youths in Jammu and Kashmir through social media.

Mallu Cyber Soldiers have busted a network of terror supporters, who are spilling venom in the minds of youths in Jammu and Kashmir through social media. Hackers’ investigation, which was shared with Mail Today, shows that over 2,000 active members linked to banned terror outfits are sharing Islamic propaganda, putting Indian armed forces in bad light.


they seem to have done a thorough job. looking forward to full disclosure of identities and funding conduits

These details include contents of their laptops, social media account, mobile and bank details apart from their location.

“It was a 10-month-long investigation, which we think is a tribute to the public on this Republic Day,” said an anonymous hacker of the group. The hacking group is going to dump all the data collectedon an open forum in the internet.

Over 50 Indian hackers involved in the extensive operation got access to their encrypted chat via social engineering.

“It is after several layers of filter and verification that we are making details of these people public and we take responsibility for it. Our motive is to expose villains of the Valley. If security agencies want, they can use our investigation and we will give all assistance,” hacker told over the encrypted call.

They revealed that supporters are roping in teachers and preachers to target young Kashmiris. The investigation carried by the hackers also shows financial transactions into teenagers' accounts, who are used as carriers for terrorists.

“We also have details of how money was transferred into teenagers’ bank accounts and soon after few days, they used to withdraw it. They are only working as a carrier of illegal money by keeping a small portion of commission with them,” a hacker said.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby krishna_krishna » 26 Jan 2018 18:50

two saudi nationals arrested from Rajasthan, and one bomber arrested from J&K shows different axis use to target 26th Jan :

http://www.firstpost.com/india/two-saud ... 20985.html

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby wig » 29 Jan 2018 19:05

http://indianexpress.com/article/techno ... t-5043152/

Fitness app Strava’s heatmap reveals locations of secret military bases
excerpted
Ruser goes on to point out that it not just US military bases which are revealed online by Strava’s heat map. The maps makes it possible to see other bases including Russia’s military bases, those in Afghanistan, and Turkish patrols North of Manbij in Northern Syria. According to Russer, the map can be used to figure out known military bases.

He also pointed on Twitter that it was possible to locate jogging routes for soldiers, who had the app on for tracking during these activities, which is dangerous. The Strava map can be used to figure out regular routes that are taken by them and puts them at considerable risk, especially for those posted in combat locations.


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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby krishna_krishna » 24 May 2018 07:42

I do not want to comment on character/ caliber of (anti Indian) Dulat and anti-india hatred of Durrani as any other chief who hold that position( one just needs to see his Oxford interview on how typical paki he is) . Irrespective of what fiction they wrote, two important things came out from the interviews that was thrown open :

1) Ladden was served on a platter to massa by eye - ass - eye , once they found out he was hiding in where. But it would be interesting to investigate what porkis got in return. See url below at the end :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWMuaTW ... e=youtu.be

2) Massa and Britishtan have revived their interest in valley again as they see opportunities in this (will obvious have porkis in the mix with them on this operation) at 20:00 onwards

3) This is idea from track thoo (which dulat is also part of) is from a chap named Peter Jones of Univ. of Ottawa seems to be a big conduit of western player to influence events, especially coming 2019 elections. Here is a brief what was on the net on this guy :

At 1:44 onwards this was proposed at meeting in Istanbul :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4_mwCyEOiI

Associate Professor Peter Jones, published Track Two Diplomacy in Theory and Practice, distributed by Stanford University Press.

Description

Track Two diplomacy consists of informal dialogues among actors such as academics, religious leaders, retired senior officials, and NGO officials that can bring new ideas and new relationships to the official process of diplomacy.

Sadly, those involved in official diplomacy often have little understanding of and appreciation for the complex and nuanced role that Track Two can play, or for its limitations. And many Track Two practitioners are often unaware of the realities and pressures of the policy and diplomatic worlds, and not particularly adept at framing their efforts to make them accessible to hard-pressed officials. At the same time, those interested in the academic study of Track Two sometimes fail to understand the realities faced by either set of practitioners.

A need therefore exists for a work to bridge the divides between these constituencies and between the different types of Track Two practice—and this book crosses disciplines and traditions in order to do just that. It explores the various dimensions and guises of Track Two, the theory and practice of how they work, and how both practitioners and academics could more profitably assess Track Two. Overall, it provides a comprehensive picture of the range of activities pursued under this title, to provoke new thinking about how these activities relate to each other, to official diplomacy, and to academe.

Author

Peter Jones is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby hnair » 24 May 2018 10:31



eh? This Aziz Khan dude in that call is bin laden's closest pal and was supposed to take over from that perverted-joker musharaf. Why is pulling these two psychotic morons' trousers down, such a bad idea?

What is wrong with Shree Dulat? Why is he profiteering, by partnering along with an evil person who boasts that he made the Taliban? What does Dulat have against 1000s of afghans who were slaughtered at the orders of Durrani?

Some of Durrani's handiwork:
Image
Afghan Civil War (1992–1996)
Afghan Civil War (1996–2001)

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby partha » 24 May 2018 12:33

More politicians (ahem..exclusively from "anti Modi" camp) than people from intel community at Sir Dulat's book launch.

Hmm.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby ramana » 24 May 2018 21:43

Hnair, The plot unravels if you understand the guest list at book launch, Sanjay Baru's "Accidental Prime Minister", and 26/11 attack, the Rahul Gandhi disclosure to Mumford.
Bottom Line Up Front:
Congress, Pak with US in background wanted to settle Kashmir and to prevent any outrage by nationalists launched the Saffron Terror plot.


It was tried successfully before and hence they tried it again.

I think MKG assassination was also similar background to launch the secular state by demonizing the nationalists.
Now await the CT outrage from usual suspects.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby chetak » 25 May 2018 19:09

ramana wrote:So minor reform.
Hope IB utilizes the expertise.


I hope that there is a clear cut and effective screening process in place.

many of these outfits have already been heavily infiltrated, a la J&K police. Political patronage in the recruiting process is rampant.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby RoyG » 25 May 2018 20:25

In a 66-page document that reads like a wish list from the Orwellian state of 1984, the tender invited proposals from private players to build and operate a 24x7 "social media communication hub" manned by operators (including 20 for a core team in Delhi and one for each of India's 716 districts) that is able to watch over and intervene on social media and email.

The government wants the "analytical tool" to "perform like [a] search engine" and "provide reports on sentiment, reach, details related to trending about topics and hashtags as instructed by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting".
Then comes the content manipulation clause. The government wants suggestions on "how could public perception be moulded in positive manner for the country" and "how could nationalistic feelings be inculcated in the masses". The tool should also be able to make certain topics trend on social media.

The government's proposal also includes a segment for the media. It wants the tool to identify stories that the government deems as "fake news", predict "headlines and breaking news of various channels and newspapers across the globe" and gauge "what would be the global public perception due to such headlines and breaking news".

The government's move comes in the middle of a fierce global debate about data privacy sparked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked Facebook this year, revealing how personal information was used to influence political campaigns without the consent of users.
It also goes against a larger international trend in liberal societies to give people more control over how their data is held. On Friday, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), billed as the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws since the birth of the web and the largest change in data protection law in Europe for more than 20 years, came into effect.

It gives EU citizens more control over how their personal data are stored and used. Companies breaching the new rules on how they handle people's data could incur fines of up to 4 per cent of their annual revenue.

As details of the centre's plans emerged in news reports, leaders from opposition parties called it a violation of consent and said data could be misused for electoral purposes. "The BJP government's addiction to snooping is reaching dangerous levels. They will misuse this tool to shape the narrative, influence the voters, to adopt unethical and unfair means to grab democracy rather than earn the trust. This government can't be trusted with such a lethal weapon," Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said.

Senior officials in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, including Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, were not immediately available for comment.

One official on the condition of anonymity said that only publicly available data on social media would be crawled and tracking emails were not a part of the plan.


https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/centre- ... -topscroll

What happens when Cong like gov comes to power? If they are trying to roll something like this out now, perhaps they are trying to get it online before general elections and state elections. Why not simply come up with your own and popularize them so they eat up most of the market share, and that way you accomplish the same thing b/c they are subject to indian law.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Vips » 26 May 2018 02:54

Cook used spyware to steal info from attache’s laptop’

A day after getting the remand of an ISI agent arrested from Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, UP Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) officials said on Thursday that he used “spyware” to steal vital information from the laptop of the diplomat he was working under. The accused, Ramesh Singh (35), had gone with the diplomat — a defence attache — as a cook and compromised the security of his residence in Islamabad, the officials said.

ADG (law&order) Anand Kumar said even after coming back to India in 2017, Singh was in constant touch with his ISI handlers in Pakistan and used to receive around Rs 9 lakh for each “report”. He was lured by ISI agents through money as he was under debt when he had first visited Islamabad with the diplomat in 2015.

“Ramesh Singh used spyware to steal information from the laptop and computer of the diplomat and other hi-tech tools. He was given a special phone by the ISI to share information which has been recovered along with three SIM cards from Pakistan,” said Kumar, adding he had allowed the ISI to enter the diplomat’s residence.

The ATS officials said that during the interrogation of three suspected ISI agents — Aftab Ali, Altaf Qureshi and Javed Naviwala — last year, it was found they were in touch with some Indian nationals over phone. “When we zeroed in on these phone numbers, we found that Singh was not only in touch with the three suspects but also with people in Pakistan,” said a senior ATS official. ATS came to know about Singh’s financial transactions from messages retrieved from the three agents.

Singh was arrested in a joint operation of UP ATS, military intelligence and Uttarakhand police on Tuesday from Garali village of Pithoragarh district. He was produced in a Pithoragarh court on Wednesday from where he was brought to Lucknow on transit remand by the ATS.

He was a farmer in his village when his brother, who is in the Indian Army, managed to get him the cook’s job at the diplomat’s house in 2015, said the ATS officials. He worked from mid-2015 to September 2017 at the residence of the Indian diplomat in Islamabad.

IG ATS Asim Arun said: “We are probing how much money was paid to Singh and what specific information he had disclosed to the ISI.”

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Vips » 01 Jun 2018 18:26

Russia experts dominate National Security scene.

The appointment of Ambassador toRussia Pankaj Saran as the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) -- a strong Russia hand -- reflects the growing number of Russophiles in the Modi government aimed at safeguarding strategic partnership and expanding the economic envelope.

Besides Saran, who is expected to return here in the near future, former Ambassador to Russia PS Raghavan, also credited with the growth in Indo-Russian ties, is convenor of the National Security Advisory Board that advises the Indian Prime Minister.

Saran, a 1982 batch IFS officer, fitted well into Raghavan’s shoes when he took over the high-profile job in 2016 as the two countries expanded strategic and economic partnership and consolidated energy links, according to Russia watchers. Both Saran and Raghavan are also well versed with the Russian language that had helped in giving momentum to the partnership. NSA AK Doval has been strong votary of Indo-Russian strategic partnership, notwithstanding his interest in Delhi’s engagements with with major powers. Doval played a crucial role in shaping the first Modi-Putin informal summit in Sochi amid US sanctions on defence purchases from Russia.

“Since 2014, PM Modi has paid special attention on Russia to address the perceived drift in relations of the two countries. He had realised the importance of this relationship for economic development, defence and security. The Joint Statement of 2014 during the visit of President Putin was termed as ‘Druzhba-Dosti: A Vision for strengthening the Indian-Russian Partnership over the next decade’. He has collected an excellent team who have deep understanding Russian world view and its basic determinants of foreign policy and who can help in developing closer relations with Russia,” explained Dr S D Pradhan, former Deputy NSA.

“Ajit Doval the NSA, Pankaj Saran Dy NSA, PS Raghvan, Convenor of National Security Advisory Board are known Russian experts and have close links with the top policy makers of Russia.

The latter two have served as our Ambassadors to Russia. The other Deputy NSA Rajinder Khanna (former R &AW Chief) is an expert on Islamic terrorism and knows the Russian views on this issue. The former Deputy NSA Dr Arvind Gupta (ex-IFS) too is a Russia expert who now heads VIF an important think tank,” he added. The Russia experts are expected to guide the relationship through the turbulent period in international relations, and their presence reflects Delhi’s commitment to nurture special special ties with Moscow notwithstanding ties with other major powers, according to one of the persons quoted above. The challenge remains in pushing the economic envelope, he said.

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of high-level visits to Moscow. While the Sochi Summit hogged headlines from substance to personal chemistry between the leaders, what largely went unnoticed were some of the other key visits to Russia by Indians. BJP general secretary and one of Modi’s key advisers Ram Madhav, for instance, visited Sochi to meet senior officials to discuss the Indo-Pacific construct among other issues. Cultural links were brought to the fore when ICCR chairman Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and other eminent scholars visited Russia.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Vikas » 01 Jun 2018 21:40

If what Doo-lat and Door-ki-rani have written in the book is the way they were actually thinking during the top job, We can be rest assured that both ISI and RA&W are basically led by incompetent bosses mostly who like a broken clock will be right atleast twice daily.

From Shri Doo-Lat,"Dulat: Sir, we can play these war games, but who knows what will happen. There are people in Delhi who believe Pakistan will inevitably break up, which is a lot of rubbish."

This is how the ex-chief of RAW thinks that Paki state is not going to break up even in near forseeable future while the contours of Pak becoming Bunjabistan are already up there on the horizon.

Also ,"General Saheb has mentioned how we should go about it. For me, the starting point would be that let Doval go to Lahore. When civility returns, the next special guest at our Republic Day should be the prime minister of Pakistan. In fact, the Pakistan prime minister should be a regular guest in Delhi. When the weather’s good, he should be having lunch with Modiji at Hyderabad House.
SAARC has been stalled and should be revived. The Gujral Doctrine needs to be taken into consideration."

Gujral doctrine which basically meant India winding down all its Intel Ops in Pakistan should be revived and treat Pakis as some long lost kid brother who are just out there to have fun.

Once again, IMO Punjabis & Kashmiris should be banned from holding the PM office for at least one more generation.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby Karthik S » 01 Jun 2018 21:44

Vips wrote:Cook used spyware to steal info from attache’s laptop’

A day after getting the remand of an ISI agent arrested from Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, UP Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) officials said on Thursday that he used “spyware” to steal vital information from the laptop of the diplomat he was working under. The accused, Ramesh Singh (35), had gone with the diplomat — a defence attache — as a cook and compromised the security of his residence in Islamabad, the officials said.

ADG (law&order) Anand Kumar said even after coming back to India in 2017, Singh was in constant touch with his ISI handlers in Pakistan and used to receive around Rs 9 lakh for each “report”. He was lured by ISI agents through money as he was under debt when he had first visited Islamabad with the diplomat in 2015.

“Ramesh Singh used spyware to steal information from the laptop and computer of the diplomat and other hi-tech tools. He was given a special phone by the ISI to share information which has been recovered along with three SIM cards from Pakistan,” said Kumar, adding he had allowed the ISI to enter the diplomat’s residence.

The ATS officials said that during the interrogation of three suspected ISI agents — Aftab Ali, Altaf Qureshi and Javed Naviwala — last year, it was found they were in touch with some Indian nationals over phone. “When we zeroed in on these phone numbers, we found that Singh was not only in touch with the three suspects but also with people in Pakistan,” said a senior ATS official. ATS came to know about Singh’s financial transactions from messages retrieved from the three agents.

Singh was arrested in a joint operation of UP ATS, military intelligence and Uttarakhand police on Tuesday from Garali village of Pithoragarh district. He was produced in a Pithoragarh court on Wednesday from where he was brought to Lucknow on transit remand by the ATS.

He was a farmer in his village when his brother, who is in the Indian Army, managed to get him the cook’s job at the diplomat’s house in 2015, said the ATS officials. He worked from mid-2015 to September 2017 at the residence of the Indian diplomat in Islamabad.

IG ATS Asim Arun said: “We are probing how much money was paid to Singh and what specific information he had disclosed to the ISI.”


Wonder if we have any "Rosenberg" kind of punishments for traitors who sell national secrets to the enemy.

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Re: Intelligence and National Security Discussion

Postby kit » 17 Oct 2018 16:55

How Chinese intelligence operates

https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/sting-operation-lifts-lid-chinese-espionage

The case was unprecedented: On Oct. 10, Belgium extradited a Chinese intelligence officer to the United States after an Ohio court had indicted the operative on charges of "economic espionage involving theft of trade secrets from leading U.S. aviation companies." Belgian authorities arrested Xu Yanjun, a deputy division director of the Sixth Bureau of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) in Jiangsu, on April 1 in Brussels, based on an arrest warrant issued in connection with a U.S. criminal complaint. Once Belgian authorities extradited Xu to the United States on Oct. 10, American authorities unsealed the indictment and the initial criminal complaint.
The Big Picture

The Chinese government recognizes that the economic model it has followed for the past three decades is unsustainable. At the same time, its shift to a new model will require a great deal of technical development. Because the consequences of failure in this transformation are huge, Beijing and Chinese companies are experiencing a great deal of pressure to acquire the necessary technologies. Finding that it is often quicker and cheaper to steal technology than it is to develop it, Chinese entities have begun aggressively engaging in industrial espionage — and they are not the only ones.
See China in Transition

The arrest of a Chinese operative in a third country, followed by his subsequent extradition to the United States, lays bare the threat of industrial espionage. At the same time, the release of the complaint and indictment also provides a rare and interesting glimpse at China's tradecraft, as well as some insight into the dynamics of industrial espionage tactics in human intelligence recruitment. Much of that process is now conducted online, in contrast to the old days, when it required face-to-face interaction to spot, develop and pitch an agent. More prosaically, the case sends a clear signal to Beijing that Washington and its allies are serious about addressing the constant threat of Chinese industrial espionage and are willing to take decisive action.
China's Shopping List

Like all espionage cases, the Xu case began with a shopping list of information that Chinese authorities have directed the Ministry of State Security to collect. In the case of Chinese intelligence agencies like the MSS, this list includes not only intelligence pertaining to political and military developments in countries of interest but also technologies that China wishes to acquire from foreign companies. Beijing has frequently demonstrated its brazenness in its attempts to obtain such technology. One such case is the Science and Technology Ministry's long-running National High-Tech Research and Development Program, also known as the 863 Program. The program provided guidance and funding for the acquisition or development of technology related to information, biology, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and other fields that would have a "significant impact on enhancing China's overall national strengths." But even if the ministry's website spoke about the domestic development of such technologies, practicalities have long dictated that it is much cheaper and faster to simply acquire them — by hook or by crook, if need be.

More recently, the Chinese government announced a 10-year development plan called "Made in China 2025" in May 2015 to target cutting-edge technologies — namely, aerospace and aviation equipment, new materials, next-generation information technology, high-end numerical control machinery and robotics, maritime engineering equipment and high-tech maritime vessel manufacturing, advanced rail equipment, energy-saving and new-vehicle technology, electrical equipment, biomedicine and high-tech medical devices, as well as agricultural technology, machinery and equipment.
This chart shows the process by which intelligence operatives seek to recruit assets.
The Drive to Recruit an Asset

As my colleague Matthew Bey has noted elsewhere, China's policy of mandating technology transfers in joint ventures with U.S. firms is one contentious means by which it acquires its desired technology. But as seen in the Xu case, another controversial method is espionage. According to the indictment, Xu attempted to steal designs for composite jet engine component technology (which China needs to wean itself from Russia) from "Company A," which media reports have identified as Ohio-based GE Aviation — which would make sense given that the case involves the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio.

As part of the initial spotting phase of the human intelligence recruitment process, Xu likely worked to assemble a list of people who have access to the desired information before assessing which individuals might be most receptive to recruitment. Then, when he had identified a potential target, Xu allegedly worked with the deputy director of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) to invite "Employee 1," an engineer at Company A, to participate in an exchange at the university. Xu is alleged to have even sent an email to Employee 1 posing as "Co-conspirator 1."

Employee 1 accepted the offer and traveled to China to give his presentation at NUAA on June 2, 2017. The university reimbursed the engineer for his travel expenses and gave him a $3,500 cash speaker's fee. During the trip, NUAA's deputy director, who is listed as Co-conspirator 1 in the indictment, introduced Employee 1 to Xu, who was operating under the cover name Qu Hui and claimed to be from the Jiangsu Science and Technology Promotion Association (JAST), an NUAA affiliate. Xu took Employee 1 out for meals before and after the presentation and informed the American engineer that JAST had provided the speaker's fee. Xu soon proceeded to the development phase of the human intelligence recruitment process, as he maintained contact with the engineer after the latter returned to the United States.

In their continuing correspondence, Xu pressed Employee 1 for technical data while holding out the carrot of another speaking engagement in China and another cash payment. When Xu requested patently sensitive information — signifying the shift to the pitching phase of the human intelligence recruitment process — Employee 1 said he categorically could not send such information from his company computer, prompting the Chinese operative to encourage him to send it via another email account. Xu also discussed how he and Employee 1 could establish a continuing relationship, hinting at a deal to exchange information for cash.

Xu continued to communicate with the engineer and press him to send more sensitive information. Employee 1 sent him a copy of a company presentation featuring the company logo, as well as a warning that it was proprietary information, which Xu received enthusiastically. Later, Xu sent Employee 1 a list of desired information, asking the American engineer to indicate which topics he was familiar with. Employee 1 responded, saying some of the topics were company trade secrets, to which Xu countered that they could discuss the matter in person.

Xu also asked Employee 1 to provide a copy of the file directory of the hard drive of his company-issued laptop. Employee 1 duly provided a copy, but only after the company had sanitized it and approved it for release — suggesting that Employee 1 had notified his company and U.S. authorities much earlier in the process and that they were all stringing Xu along.

By acquiring the company presentation and file directory, Xu appears to have believed that he had successfully recruited Employee 1, leading him to request more from the American engineer: the entire contents of the hard drive of his company-issued laptop. Since the employee would not be permitted to bring his laptop to China, the pair arranged to meet in Europe during a trip Employee 1 had previously scheduled. But instead of heading to Brussels to collect a treasure trove of intelligence, Xu walked straight into a sting operation.

Instead of heading to Brussels to collect a treasure trove of intelligence, Xu walked straight into a sting operation.

The Newest Trends in Industrial Espionage

Intelligence agencies have long viewed technical conferences as rich hunting grounds for recruiting agents with access to technical intelligence. Beyond merely visiting conferences organized by others, agencies such as China's State Security Ministry often host conferences and technical exchange programs using cover organizations, including universities, trade associations and think tanks. In addition to inviting groups to attend conferences, operatives will frequently invite people of interest to make individual visits to the cover organizations. Chinese intelligence, for instance, recruited Kevin Mallory after the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences invited the former CIA officer to travel to China to provide his perspective on current issues in exchange for compensation. U.S. authorities eventually caught up with Mallory, who was convicted of espionage in June.

While the Chinese intelligence services are working overtime in their efforts to acquire the technologies outlined in the "Made in China 2025" program, they are not alone. Russia has compiled its own list of 77 foreign technologies that it wishes to develop domestically rather than acquire from foreign sources. Under President Vladimir Putin — a former KGB officer — Russian intelligence agencies have become aggressive at pursuing industrial espionage in addition to their hacking, traditional espionage, disinformation and assassination operations.

Of course, it is also critical to remember that it is not just states that engage in industrial espionage. While companies linked to such places as China and Russia benefit greatly from the largesse of intelligence agencies and the technology they provide, hackers, rogue employees and private companies also pose risks to the intellectual property of companies and other organizations. And in the information age, it is now easier for someone to exfiltrate massive quantities of data or become an advanced and persistent insider threat. Because of this, it is more important than ever for organizations to maintain robust security programs to protect themselves. Such a program not only includes tools to mitigate such online threats, but training programs to teach employees about human intelligence recruitment and what to do if approached.

Based on the events in the Xu case, it would appear that Employee 1 had received training, possessed an awareness of the sensitive nature of his projects and their importance to foreign intelligence services, and knew what to do if approached. In pursuing this case, the United States has placed China on notice that it will work to constrain Beijing's industrial espionage activities. Chinese intelligence agencies such as MSS, however, are under tremendous pressure from their masters to acquire specific technologies, meaning it is highly unlikely that prosecutions will halt China's aggressive pursuit of technology. But due to the sequence of events in the Xu case, the next time — and it is inevitable that there will be a next time — Chinese agents approach an employee at Company A in possession of sensitive information, they are likely to be a bit more careful, lest they find themselves caught once more in a sting operation.


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