Thursday, February 28, 2019

Meet the top-lobbied political gatekeepers in 2018, Meenie, Mynny & Moe

Meet the top-lobbied political gatekeepers in 2018


Who is this Chin character?
The most-lobbied staffers last year worked on money files like innovation and finance, as well as the environment, a hot-button issue legislatively.

Ben Chin, chief of staff to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, left; Clare Demerse, senior policy adviser to the environment minister, centre; and David McFarlane, policy director to the innovation minister, right, were the top three most-lobbied political staffers in 2018. Photographs courtesy of LinkedIn and Twitter

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Mr Chuckles'a'Lot, seen with some unsavoury characters 

China Threatens Canada, What Will Boy'Trudeau Do?

China's envoy to Canada says Huawei 5G ban would have repercussions

here's the little guy...

Image result for Chinas  envoy to canada

OTTAWA (Reuters) - China’s envoy to Canada on Thursday warned Ottawa there would be repercussions if it banned technology firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G networks, the latest defensive fit from China in an ever- deepening bilateral dispute.

Jan 22, 2019

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*Canada's Fearless Hero Ralphie'Boy Seen Hard At Work....Dodging Questions, And Missing Naptime!
Ambassador Lu Shaye, speaking at a news conference, did not give details. Canada is currently studying the security implications of 5G networks, but unlike some allies has not announced Huawei equipment will be excluded.
“If the Canadian government does ban Huawei from participating in the 5G network, then as for what kind of repercussion there will be, I’m not sure, but I believe there will be repercussions,” Lu said through an interpreter, urging Ottawa to “make a wise decision on this issue”.
Relations between China and Canada turned frosty last month after Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, on a U.S. extradition request.
China subsequently detained two Canadian citizens, and this month a court retried a Canadian man who previously had been found guilty of drug smuggling, and sentenced him to death.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Beijing of arbitrarily using the death penalty and called world leaders to solicit their support.
Lu said when Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland went to the World Economic Forum in Davos next week she should avoid “microphone diplomacy” and not try to rally support.
“If Canada has a sincerity of resolving these issues, then Canada will not do such things. We hope Canada thinks twice before making any actions,” he said.
In response, Freeland said Canada had no intention of changing its approach.
“We will continue to speak every day with our allies about this situation,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet retreat in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Trump, Kim leave Hanoi with no deal
She declined to give details about the review into 5G technology. A Canadian source directly familiar with the case said the study would not be released in the immediate future.
Huawei has a relatively small Canadian operation, employing just shy of 1,000 people. But the company said early this year it had become the 25th largest research and development funder in Canada, thanks to partnerships with local universities.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced bills that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) or other Chinese firms that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws.

Canada should ban Huawei from 5G networks - Ex-spy chief

11:36 am on 22 January 2019

Canada should ban China's Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G networks because the security risk is too great, a former spy chief says.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. Photo: Photo / AFP

China's ambassador last week threatened repercussions if Ottawa blocked Huawei, a warning the Canadian government dismissed. 

Relations between the two nations have soured since a top Huawei executive was arrested in Vancouver last month on a US extradition warrant.
Canadian officials are studying the security implications of 5G networks, the latest generation of cellular mobile communications, but their report is not expected in the immediate future, a source close to the matter said last week.
Image result for Ralf Goodale Richard Fadden
Richard Fadden, who served as the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service spy agency from 2009 to 2013, cited what he said was mounting evidence for blocking Huawei.
"Canada's government should ignore the threats and ban Huawei from Canada's 5G networks to protect the security of Canadians," he wrote in the Globe and Mail.
Some Canadian allies have already imposed restrictions on using Huawei equipment, citing the risk of espionage.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale today said other companies could supply equipment for future 5G networks, but did not give details.
China detained two Canadians last month after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and the founder's daughter, and demanded she be released. A court later retried a Canadian who had already been jailed for drug smuggling and sentenced him to death.
"If China would resort to putting Canadians to death to defend its corporate national champion, what might it do if the Chinese Communist Party had unfettered access to Canada's vital communications networks?" Mr Fadden said.
Neither Huawei nor the Chinese embassy responded to requests for comment.
A group of 143 academics and former ambassadors from around the world today released an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, urging him to free the two detained Canadians.
"(We) must now be more cautious about travelling and working in China and engaging our Chinese counterparts," they wrote.
"That will lead to less dialogue and greater distrust, and undermine efforts to manage disagreements and identify common ground. Both China and the rest of the world will be worse off as a result."
John McAllen, Canada's ambassador to China, said last Friday that his top priority was the release of the two detainees and scrapping the death penalty for the condemned man.
- Reuters

Pakistan/China vs India....a War Anticipated

Pakistan can’t afford a war with India – unless China comes to its aid

A fifth of India’s population and a third of Pakistan’s live in extreme poverty. Another conflict between the two nations would devastate their economies and lead to people facing destitution

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NB/ spoken in Indian

India’s airstrikes against Pakistan-based terror camps, in retaliation for the horrific 14 February suicide attack on Indian troops by Pakistan-based terrorists, threatens to lead the two nuclear weapon neighbours to a conflagration they can ill afford. There are also fears of an Indian government decision to impose a national emergency by citing “external aggression”, threatening the peace, security, stability and governance of the country.
There have been pitched war cries from both sides since the Valentine’s Day Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy in Pulwama, in the terror-ridden border state of Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force. JeM claimed responsibility for the carnage that saw a local Kashmiri youth, acting at the behest of the jihadi group, drive into the convoy of buses with an explosive-laden SUV.
Two days later, prime minister Narendra Modi sounded a warning – “We will settle the account in full this time” – and pledged to avenge “each drop of tear shed”, even as India started roping in international support to isolate Pakistan at the world stage and charting a retaliatory action plan. His Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, addressed India: “If you think you will attack us and we will not think of retaliating… We will retaliate. We all know starting a war is in the hands of humans, where it will lead us only God knows.”
Not only was the terror attack the worst on Indian security forces in the Kashmir valley this decade, India’s retaliatory airstrikes were the first across the line of control frontier since the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. Both sides have now claimed responsibility for shooting down jets, as Pakistan has confirmed it is closing its airspace.
The sharp exchange prompted US president Donald Trump to tell the media: “Right now between Pakistan and India, there is a very, very bad situation. A very dangerous situation. We would like to see it [hostility] stop.” India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will today visit China to take part in an India-China-Russia trilateral meeting, to anticipate the response of these powers in case India-Pakistan hostilities escalate. The group is expected to urge India to carry out its “fight against terrorism” through international cooperation.
India and Pakistan have gone to war four times – in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. But another war today would prove mutually disastrous. A fifth of India’s population and a third of Pakistan’s live in extreme poverty, defined as those living on less than $1.90 (£1.43) a day. Not only would such an engagement ravage their economies and lead to civilian destitution, it may draw other global powers into the conflict too, deepening the discord.
While some quarters still predict the conflict can be contained locally, with some cross-border reprisals, that would depend on the two nations working together to avert any outbreak of further hostility by showing sensitivity to its consequences and by marshalling diplomatic interventions by other powers.
Already, Pakistani troops have violated a ceasefire by firing in the Akhnoor, Nowshera and Poonch sectors along the line of control. On the Indian side, movement of soldiers has increased, amid reports of a heavy troop buildup across the border. Flashpoints are erupting across the Indian sub-continent because military posturing is being matched by political grandstanding from the two country’s leaders. Political rhetoric needs to be scaled down on both sides to give peace a chance.  
While the Modi regime is hamstrung by electoral pressures, with general elections due in May, Khan will also feel obliged to abide by his promise of retaliation.
There are broader economic issues at play, too. Although Khan promised a “new Pakistan” upon his swearing-in last August, his country is reduced to bankruptcy, with foreign exchange reserves critically inadequate to fund imports beyond a few months. While the country is now banking on an IMF bailout, Trump has warned against capitalising Pakistan in order to help it repay its massive debt to China. Yet the country runs a serious risk of defaulting on its payments without the IMF dole.
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To go to war against India, Islamabad will have to look to China. China’s entry into the affray would raise major questions for India, which lacks the military power to wage a war on two fronts for any length of time.
There are those in India who are interpreting the government’s “non-military” pre-emptive action as a political move. The prime minister urged the public at a rally to vote for him to ensure the “safety and security” of their homeland. His ministers, too, upheld the aerial offensive as indicative of a strong and decisive leadership that provided security to all Indians.
With Modi increasingly unsure of re-election, declaring a national emergency could potentially allow a delay to elections, extending the term of the incumbent regime for as long as the emergency continues.   
The altercation between India and Pakistan is fraught with grave consequences. An event of war will physically endanger civilians living along the borders and jeopardise the lives of all Indians and Pakistanis by devastating both country’s economies. Scaling down the rhetoric to come to an understanding is the only way forward.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ghost Cities China

Chinese spies covet Cincinnati's corporate secrets — was October arrest an isolated incident?

Chinese spies covet Cincinnati's corporate secrets — was October arrest an isolated incident?

US Attorney: 'China is a big threat'
CINCINNATI — To anyone who was startled when an alleged Chinese spy who targeted GE Aviation was arrested in October, here’s an even more alarming fact: It wasn’t an isolated incident.
Cincinnati companies are regular targets of Chinese spies, hackers, counterfeiters and business partners, the I-Team learned from court documents, government records and interviews with business and federal law enforcement officials.
“Economic espionage is a very significant threat,” said Benjamin Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. “It could cost people their jobs. It could destroy companies. With the destruction of companies comes the destruction of communities and really a radically different place for the United States in the world.”
Cincinnati’s FBI office is actively investigating multiple cyber attacks involving local companies. Special Agent in Charge Todd Wickerham said the threat to local companies is growing, although he wouldn’t provide numbers.
“China and other threat countries, as we call them, are a very large threat to the economic well-being of this region,” Wickerham said. “Any company that has intellectual property that they’ve put many years and millions if not billions of dollars in developing should be very concerned that there’s a national effort on behalf of China and other countries to take what they have done.”
The Justice Department is getting increasingly aggressive in its pursuit of trade-secret thefts originating in China, with a high-profile indictment unsealed in January against telecom giant Huawei and a series of cybertheft indictments against state-sponsored hackers and Chinese intelligence officers.
Yanjun Xu is accused of strying to steal secrets from GE Aviation
But it was a case that originated in Cincinnati that led to what might be the most significant arrest to date. Yanjun Xu, who was captured in Belgium last April and is now housed in a federal prison in Michigan, is believed to be the first Chinese intelligence officer to be extradited to the U.S. for prosecution.
“This is showing that this is something not just the United States is concerned about but really there’s much more interest globally and the United States has been working with its allies to try to combat this threat,” said Scott Stewart, a former State Department special agent who now works as vice president of technical analysis at Stratfor. “I think the case is significant.”
How often was GE targeted?
Glassman said the case is “a model for how companies and the federal government can work together to thwart attempted economic espionage.” He said the FBI opened its investigation sometime after June 2, 2017, when an engineer from GE Aviation made a presentation about the structural design of engines at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronomics.
An FBI affidavit that WCPO obtained said the engineer traveled to China with proprietary documents about the use of composite materials in jet engines. Composite technology is a huge competitive advantage for GE because it results in lighter, more fuel-efficient engines that dominate the industry.
The FBI affidavit said the engineer, who has not been charged, did not tell his GE bosses about his university presentation or the records he brought to China. But after returning to the U.S., he cooperated with federal investigators to arrange a meeting with Xu in Europe. Belgian authorities arrested Xu on April Fool’s Day, 2018.
Benjamin Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio
“There’s no doubt that Xu would not have gone to Belgium but for his communication with that engineer,” Glassman said.
The Xu case would make “a great movie or book someday,” Wickerham added. “Cincinnati agents did this entire investigation from the beginning with lots of help from other divisions … it’s a great story (about) great cooperation but it’s not done yet so we can’t really talk about it.”
Wickerham also declined to comment on apparent connections between the Xu case and two other corporate espionage cases that federal prosecutors disclosed last fall.
In September, a 27-year-old Chinese National was arrested in Illinois for allegedly gathering biographical information for a Chinese intelligence officer. Ji Chaoqun allegedly compiled non-classified information on eight people from Taiwan or China who were working as engineers or scientists in the U.S. and were identified as “possible recruits” by the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security. Xu is the deputy division director of that MSS office, according to his Cincinnati indictment.
In October, federal prosecutors in San Diego announced indictments against two Chinese intelligence officers, six of their paid hackers and two agents who were allegedly embedded in a French aerospace company with an office in Suzhou, China. The indictment doesn’t name the companies but alleges the group sought trade secrets on a turbofan engine that the French company developed with a U.S. aerospace company based in Massachusetts. Boston-based GE produces turbofan engines in a joint venture with Safran, a French aerospace firm with a Suzhou office. Neither company would comment on the case.
How broad is the threat?
Increasing awareness about Chinese corporate espionage coincides with rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The I-Team found details about local and national cases in government records, court documents, published reports and interviews with company executives.
In 2018, the cyber security firm FireEye Inc. documented a decline in Chinese state-sponsored operations aimed at stealing intellectual property directly from U.S. companies. But it also saw an increase in the number of attacks that “resulted in the theft of business information such as bid prices, contracts and information related to mergers and acquisitions.”
FireEye said Chinese hackers targeted cloud-computing and telecom providers to “allow Beijing to collect intelligence on a broad group of targets in a manner that is less likely to be detected.”
report that the cybersecurity firm McAfee and the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies released in February 2018 said cyber attacks cost the global economy up to $600 billion a year.
“CSIS believes that three countries—Russia, North Korea, and Iran—are the most active in hacking financial institutions," according to the report. "China remains the most active in espionage. Iran’s goals are coercive effect, as evidenced by the Iranian distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on leading US banks.”
Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Bank wouldn’t give details on the parts the globe where it faces the biggest threats. But it maintains a staff of about 150 employees and contractors to guard against those perils.
Fifth Third bets big on IT  but at what cost?
“The internet connects us as much as it connects the rest of the world,” said Brian Minick, chief information security officer for Fifth Third Bank. “Cincinnati is no way in less of a risky situation or position than a company in Silicon Valley.”
Symmes Township-based Worldpay Inc. employs more than 300 specialists in IT security. The world’s largest payment processor “puts a lot of investment into encryption” technology that would render credit and debit card data useless if it’s stolen, said James Black, chief information officer for Worldpay.
“Our duty is to protect the client data,” Black said. “We put a lot of investment into networking perimeter technologies to make sure we can survive denial of service type attacks.”
At Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest threat from China might be counterfeiting. Associate General Counsel Shelley Duggan told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2016 that counterfeit merchandise "encroaches upon P&G's market share, suppresses profitability, hinders business growth and hurts the equity of our brands." Duggan further stated: "Most P&G counterfeits are produced in China and then exported to other markets."
The Counterfeit Report, a consumer watchdog that tracks fake merchandise globally, said in January that P&G has helped to identify nearly 50 factories that produced counterfeit Tide-branded laundry detergent.
“Consumers should know that Tide is NOT sold in 5-gallon buckets,” said the Jan. 19 product alert. “Dishonest sellers buy the fake Tide 5-gallon bucket for around $5, and resell it to unsuspecting consumers for $25 to $40 from internet ads or on the street. Risk is low and profit is high.”
The Counterfeit report has also issued fake-product alerts for Oral-B replacement toothbrush heads and Gillette’s Fusion, Mach 3 and Sensor Excel razors.
China’s version of has been instrumental in the growth of the global counterfeit trade. Although Alibaba claims to have spent millions to prevent counterfeiting, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative concluded in 2017 that "relatively high numbers of counterfeiters" selling merchandise on Alibaba sites "continue to be a challenge for many U.S. brands."
Another threat involves the business relationships that are often required for U.S. companies to do business in China, including distribution agreements and manufacturing partnerships that sometimes expose trade secrets.
Mason-based Atricure Inc. sued its former Chinese partner in January, accusing Beijing ZenoMed Scientific Co. of “developing counterfeit competitive devices” to its “Isolator System” for treating the irregular heartbeat condition atrial fibrillation.
Atricure makes medical devices to treat atrial fibrillation
The Jan. 22 complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, alleges “the primary wrongdoers” were ZenoMed’s president, Dr. Jian “Larry” Meng, and its former director of research and development, Dr. Guanglu Bai. AtriCure alleges the men formed a separate company to produce “knock off” versions of Atricure’s surgical device that are “inferior and dangerous” when used in surgery.
“Not only has defendants’ conduct brazenly violated AtriCure’s legal rights, but it also poses a significant public health risk,” the complaint states.
"The complaint is not accurate," said Dan Donnellon, a Dayton attorney who represents Dr. Meng. "They intend to defend it vigorously and expect to be fully vindicated."
The FBI wouldn’t say whether it is investigating Atricure’s allegations, but its top local agent said it’s “definitely be something we would investigate” if presented with the right evidence.
“To have a knock-off medical device that’s supposed to make you better, keep you well, if that’s not manufactured to rigorous standards … we’d be very concerned,” Wickerham said. “And we would initiate an investigation if we found those in our markets.”
What can companies do?
Beyond those companies in which specific threats have been publicly disclosed, Cincinnati has troves of corporate secrets that align with China’s stated goal of acquiring cutting edge technology in 10 key industries. The Made in China 2025 initiative includes specific targets for aerospace and aviation, computer-assisted manufacturing, biomedical innovations and next-generation information technology, all of which can be found in Cincinnati.
Todd Wickerham, special agent in charge of Cincinnati's FBI office
“The way the Chinese do this is really the long game,” Wickerham said. “It is a concerted national effort to increase their economic viability in order to raise themselves up. And they do it in many different ways.”
China is one reason the Cincinnati chapter of InfraGard has over 400 members. InfraGard is an alliance started by the Cleveland FBI office about 20 years ago. Companies receive and deliver intelligence briefings on a quarterly basis to stay up to date on cyber threats, fraud, IP theft and other troubling topics.
“Just like any type of crime, it’s constantly evolving,” Wickerham said. “A big role of InfraGard is to build trusted relationships in advance of an attack and either prevent them from happening or if the attack comes to be able to quickly stop the attack from occurring and work to figure out how to stop it from ever happening again.”