Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Week in World Spy News

Spy Day Celebrations In Russia - In Russia, every November 5th is "Spy Day," and celebrates a century of Russian espionage. This special day is not a leftover from the Soviet Union. Spy Day was established in 2000, by Vladimir Putin, the recently elected president of Russia, whose professional experience was as a Soviet era spy. But this was not an effort to regain some respect for Soviet era spies (many of whom were out of work after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991). Rather, Putin was bringing attention to peace time spying. Like China, Russia has been very active in stealing foreign technology, and needs skilled spies to do it. (more)

Murdoch apologises for spying on parliament members - News Corp executive James Murdoch said on Thursday that staff within his company had ordered private investigators to follow and investigate members of the parliamentary committee investigating the phone hacking scandal. (more) 

EDF fined €1.5m for spying on Greenpeace - The energy company's former security chief was sentenced to three years in prison for employing a firm to hack into the energy watchdog's computers. (more) 

Facebook Chief: We're Not the Only Ones Spying On You - The complaint that Facebook prioritizes its own revenue targets above user security is hardly new. However, there is something fresh about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent attempt to distract users by pointing a finger at other tech companies -- most notably Microsoft, Google and Yahoo -- accusing them of being far less privacy conscious than Facebook. (more) 

WIFE SPYING ON HUBBY SPARKS A BOMB SCARE - A JEALOUS wife sparked a bomb scare when she had a tracking device fitted to her husband’s £40,000 sports car. Diletta Bianchini had private investigators install a GPS tracker to William Sachiti’s Lexus SC430. But when he found the gizmo he thought it was a bomb and rushed to the police. (more) 
Canada’s top spy watchdog resigns following National Post revelations - Arthur Porter, the chair of Canada’s spy review board, resigned on Thursday amid revelations of his business dealings with a notorious international lobbyist and his own close ties to the president of Sierra Leone. (more) 

Nixon Warned Grand Jury on Pentagon Spy Ring - Newly unsealed grand jury testimony by ex-President Richard Nixon shows he warned prosecutors and grand jurors not to probe an episode from 1971, when he discovered that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been spying on him and national security adviser Henry Kissinger.  “Don’t open that can of worms,” Nixon told his interrogators in June 1975... (more) 

Nixon Peabody sued by tech firm over spy-ring claims - Nixon Peabody and two of its attorneys have been sued by an Illinois technology firm claiming that the lawyers were part of a scheme to paint company executives as part of a international spy ring. (more)

What did you expect? Spies steal stuff - Debutante plagiarist Q.R. Markham's temporarily-lauded spy thriller, Assassin of Secrets, is in fact a string of passages lifted from other books in the genre. No-one noticed until it was released, at which time readers noticed at once. The book's been recalled by publisher Little, Brown, whose president, Michael Pietsch, apologized in a prepared statement... (more)