Posted: September 4, 2016 Filed under: Asia, China, Diplomacy, Global, History, Politics | Tags: Abubakar Malami, Abuja, Brexit, Bugging, Chinese Spy, Conservative Party (UK), European Union, G20 Summit, Government of the United Kingdom, Hacking, Honey Trap, London, Memorandum of understanding, Spy, Surveillance, United Kingdom
British government aides have fallen victim to spying on previous official trips to China, with one Downing Street official reported to have had his mobile phone and secret documents stolen after he was seduced.
Government security chiefs are anxious to avoid a repeat of the incident, which took place during a visit by Gordon Brown in 2008, and have provided detailed guidance to Mrs May’s team.
The Prime Minister’s officials have been warned to take steps to protect themselves during the G20 summit, which begins on Sunday.
Officials travelling with Mrs May have been issued with temporary mobile phones and email addresses in an attempt to evade Chinese state hackers.
Security advisers are also warning staff not to keep gifts they receive and to be particularly wary of electronic devices, such as free computer memory sticks, mobile phone SIM cards or chargers which they are offered by their Chinese hosts.
One Whitehall source said security chiefs had warned them that hotel rooms used during the summit were likely to be bugged. “We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
Damian McBride, left, was then prime minister Gordon Brown’s special advisor CREDIT: BRUCE ADAMS/REX
British security agencies regard China as one of the most aggressive nations when it comes to launching cyber-attacks against western governments and businesses, as well as posing a major espionage threat to the UK.
Chinese technological expertise has prompted security concerns at the highest levels of government and British intelligence.
There are fears that Chinese intelligence agents will use their capability to intercept emails and phone calls and to install spy software on computers during the summit.
However, one of the gravest threats posed by foreign spies is also one of the oldest: the honey trap.
During Mr Brown’s visit to China in 2008, one of the No 10 officials accompanying the then Prime Minister reportedly fell prey to a “beautiful” female Chinese spy. She went back to his hotel room, drugged him, stole his mobile phone and documents from his briefcase.
The incident was described by Mr Brown’s former spin doctor, Damien McBride, in his 2013 memoir, Power Trip.
The No 10 team was “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes”, Mr McBride said.
Even before our resident security expert could warn us that their interest was not to be taken at face value, we looked up and saw one of our number disappearing up the stairs to the exit with one of the girls, beaming back at us.
He woke up the following morning “minus his Blackberry and half the contents of his briefcase”.
The official also had a “‘very bad headache, owning to the Mickey Finn nightcap his overnight companion had administered to him in his hotel room”.
The G20 summit in Hangzhou comes at a time of heightened tension between Britain and China. Within weeks of entering Downing Street in July, Mrs May put on hold a final decision on whether to approve a Chinese-backed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 29, 2016 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Mediasphere, Politics, White House | Tags: Clinton Foundation, Government of the United Kingdom, Julian Assange, London, WikiLeaks
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off.
Liz Crokin reports: Hillary Clinton and her media allies have been working overtime to put out numerous fires that continue to pop up and spread during the final weeks of her campaign for president. Recently, the flames have gotten more difficult to smother as reports of Clinton’s frail health have bled into the mainstream media, despite the unanimous and unilateral decision by the MSM to treat anyone who even raises a question as akin to a Holocaust denier (On Sunday night, for example, the Huffington Post fired contributor David Seaman and deleted his columns simply for linking to a Hillary health video that’s been viewed 4 million times.)
Julian Assange stoked more flames when he suggested a murdered DNC worker was the Wikileaks source for the DNC hack. Most recently, the Associated Press released a blockbuster story concluding that more than half of the people Clinton met with as Secretary of State gave donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Despite these ongoing scandals, Clinton’s close yet questionable ties to media outlets such as Google, CNN, PBS and the New York Times have seemed to pay off. These entities have gone out of their way to censor negative stories about Clinton, particularly ones involving the Clinton Foundation. There’s one common thread though these media outlets suppressing harmful Clinton stories all share: they’ve donated to the Clinton Foundation.
On Aug. 23 the Associated Press broke the story citing that more than half the people outside of the government that Clinton met with as she served as Secretary of State gave money to the Clinton Foundation, either personally or through companies or groups. The AP report concluded that 85 out of 154 people she met with from the private sector either donated to her charity or pledged commitments. The AP drew this conclusion by reviewing some of Clinton’s schedule from when she was Secretary of State. They obtained these records after a federal judge ordered the release of them stemming from a lawsuit they filed against the State Department in 2015. (The AP is reporting that the State Department won’t finish releasing the rest of Clinton’s schedule till after the presidential election despite their request for it by October 15.) This bombshell, compounded with Clinton’s use of a private server as Secretary of State, is fueling allegations that she was involved in a pay-to-play operation. This story has been suppressed by Google in its searches as it has done in the past with stories that paint Clinton in a negative light. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 31, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Censorship, Global | Tags: Edward Snowden, Government Communications Headquarters, Government of the United Kingdom, Guardian, Hard disk drive, Kings Cross London, London, YouTube
Jokingly referred to as the “Secret Ceremony”
On Saturday 20 July 2013, in the basement of the Guardian’s office in Kings Cross, London, watched by two GCHQ technicians, Guardian editors destroyed hard drives and memory cards on which encrypted files leaked by Edward Snowden had been stored. This is the first time footage of the event has been released.
Read the story of how the hard drives were destroyed
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Posted: September 20, 2013 Filed under: Asia, China, Global | Tags: Beijing, Daniel Craig, Government of the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, James Bond, Kung Pao, London, Wen Wei Po
An article published by Ta Kung Pao this week used a photo of James Bond actor Daniel Craig to illustrate what it described as the widespread presence of M16 agents in Hong Kong. Associated Press
Hong Kong might not be a British colony anymore, but James Bond’s compatriots are still roaming its streets.
That’s according to pro-Beijing newspapers Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao, which this week accused the U.K. of harboring British intelligence agents installed (in Chinese) across the city’s government, judiciary, chambers of commerce and the media, headquartered at the local British consulate-general.
“Not only did the activities of the British intelligence agency not stop after the handover, on the controversy, they increased,” Ta Kung Pao’s report ran. Read the rest of this entry »