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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Keeping up with the spy threat

With the Harper government around, Canada is no longer a safe haven for spies...

Globe and Mail Excerpt: State-sponsored Chinese enterprises have long taken inspiration from proprietary Canadian technology. Decades ago, China was accused of stealing designs for a prototype Canadian nuclear reactor. Last spring, Mr. MacKay raised concerns about China's "Redberry" -- a version of the wildly popular BlackBerry pager developed by Research in Motion, based in Waterloo, Ont. Whether such activity amounts to possible copyright infringement or espionage is a matter of debate, but either way, billions are at stake.

Like other authoritarian countries, China keep tabs on expatriates. The activities of Falun Gong, the dissident faith movement, get special attention. Chinese diplomats in Western countries are often accused of illegally working to disrupt Falun Gong.

Real-life allegations of such spying have also been cited in the case of a Chinese diplomat in Ottawa whose visa was not renewed this fall. Newspaper reports suggested Canada declared him persona non grata because of embassy-sponsored attempts to disrupt Falun Gong.

China denies this. But there's no doubt that Canada is probing Beijing's methods. "CSIS did ask us about what was happening," said Lucy Zhou, a Falun Gong spokeswoman in Ottawa.

Immigrants in other communities have made similar complaints. (more)

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