Around the world, spies are being used to respond to the pandemic by collecting information and equipment, engaging in information warfare, and exploiting contact-tracing platforms.
Latest in Espionage
American businesses have not fully recognized the enhanced nation-state threat environment within which they are operating, and they do not entirely appreciate the difference between risks and threats.
U.S. companies must understand that in many cases they are no longer simply competing with corporate rivals. They are competing with the nation-states supporting their corporate rivals.
The Justice Department has announced charges against four researchers accused of lying on visa applications with regards to their status as current employees of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). Three of the four have been arrested and the fourth has allegedly taken refuge in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.
The Justice Department has charged an American Harvard University professor and two Chinese nationals, in three different cases related to China. The professor, Dr. Charles Lieber, is alleged to have misrepresented his participation in a Chinese government-run research program to representatives from the Department of Defense and the National Institute of Health. One of the others charged, Yangqing Ye, is alleged to have "mask[ed]" her status in the People's Liberation Army in applications for a visa that allowed her to research and study at Boston University.
The Department of Justice has charged two former Twitter employees, one a U.S. citizen and one a Saudi citizen, after the two men allegedly accessed Twitter user's personal information on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The complaint can be found here and below.
The Department of Justice unsealed a criminal complaint against Xuehua "Edward" Peng for acting as an illegal foreign agent. The complaint alleges that Peng handed over U.S. national security information to officials from China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS). Extensive details of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation against Peng are also included in the complaint, which can be read here.
On May 1, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a former CIA employee, pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide classified information to the Chinese government in violation of the Espionage Act. The statement of facts and plea agreement are below.
Statement of Facts
On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed a seven-count indicment charging former Air Force counterintelligence specialist Monica Witt and four Iranian co-defendants under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The indictment is posted in full below.
There’s much that’s not clear about reports that the U.S. government may have filed charges against the Wikileaks founder. Here are some questions we’ll be asking when there’s more information.