Government vows to curb Chinese spying on Canada
Canada's foreign affairs minister says he wants to crack down on Chinese spies who are stealing industrial and high-technology secrets at a tremendous cost to the economy.
BY CANWEST NEWS SERVICE APRIL 16, 2006
OTTAWA -- Canada's foreign affairs minister says he wants to crack down on Chinese spies who are stealing industrial and high-technology secrets at a tremendous cost to the economy.
"It's something that we want to signal we are prepared to address and continue to raise with the Chinese at the appropriate time," Peter MacKay told CTV.
MacKay raised concerns of the release earlier this month in China of the RedBerry, an imitation of Canada's BlackBerry handheld device, made by Research in Motion based in Waterloo, Ont.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been investigating economic espionage involving China, although it does not name the country specifically in background and annual reports posted on its website.
"The damage to Canadian interests takes the form of lost contracts, jobs and markets and overall, a diminished competitive advantage," CSIS reported in a 2004 paper.
"Information and technology that has been the target of economic espionage includes trade and pricing information, investment strategy, contract details, supplier lists, planning documents, research and development data, technical drawings and computer databases."
Sectors considered sensitive and likely targets of foreign interest, CSIS says, include aerospace, biotechnology, chemicals, communications, information technology, mining, nuclear energy, oil and environmental technologies.
Foreign students and scientists, business delegations and Chinese immigrants are among those used as informants, says the spy agency.
"The most frequently used collection method is the recruitment of someone who has access to the information (employees, contractors, consultants, students, etc.). However, other methods include break-ins, briefcase tampering, photocopying, garbage retrieval and communications interception," the report says.
News reports last year said there are as many as 1,000 Chinese economic spies operating in Canada.