The London Times reports on the discovery of a major spy ring in Australia. The guilty country is not named, but obviously is China:
Australia’s national intelligence agency has broken up a large foreign spy ring but faces an unprecedented level of espionage directed from overseas, its director-general has revealed.
Mike Burgess, head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), said it had stopped a “sleeper” agent running a spy ring that provided logistical and financial support for foreign agents engaged in intelligence-gathering and the harassment of dissidents.
“The level of threat we face from foreign espionage and interference activities is unprecedented,” Mr Burgess said. “It is higher now than it was at the height of the Cold War.”
This is rather chilling:
Mr Burgess said: “We’ve seen visiting scientists and academics ingratiating themselves into university life with the aim of conducting clandestine intelligence collection.”
That certainly has happened here, too.
“ASIO has uncovered cases where foreign spies have travelled to Australia with the intention of setting up sophisticated hacking infrastructure targeting computers containing sensitive and classified information,” Mr Burgess said. “And perhaps most disturbingly, hostile intelligence services have directly threatened and intimidated Australians in this country.”
He said that the case of the sleeper agent unmasked by his agency read like a “Cold War thriller”.
“The agent lay dormant for many years, quietly building community and business links, all the while secretly maintaining contact with his offshore handlers,” Mr Burgess said. “The agent started feeding his spymasters information about Australia-based expatriate dissidents, which directly led to harassment of the dissidents in Australia and their relatives overseas.
Whatever the Chinese have done to infiltrate and spy on Australia, we can be sure they have done orders of magnitude more to infiltrate and spy on the U.S. Chinese influence on American universities, which has been bought and paid for, is particularly alarming. Given what we now know about the conduct of China’s Communist regime, it is hard to understand the deference that the American government paid to the Chinese prior to the Trump administration.