News you may have missed #514

  • The spy kid. Multipart series by The Oregonian‘s Bryan Denson, on Nathaniel James Nicholson, son of CIA double agent Harold James Nicholson, who was convicted for spying on the US for Russia. Nathaniel was convicted in 2009 for maintaining contacts with his father’s Russian handlers.
  • Listening bug found in NZ MP’s home. Sources close to New Zealand’s Government Communication Security Bureau (GCSB) have said that at least one clandestine listening device has been found after a sweep of senior government officials’ homes.
  • Israel sells spy camera to Turkey despite concerns. Israel’s defense establishment has approved the sale to Turkey of the Long-Range Oblique Photography pod, a sophisticated intelligence system considered the pinnacle in Israeli military technology, despite worsening relations between the two countries.

News you may have missed #459 (Russia edition)

  • Son of CIA double spy strikes deal with FBI. Nathan Nicholson, son of CIA officer Harold James Nicholson, who in 1997 was jailed for spying for Russia, has avoided a prison sentence after promising to help the FBI build a new case against his father. The latter has pleaded guilty to enlisting his son from prison to sell the Russians more secrets and collect money owed to him by the Russian spy services.
  • Moscow warns UK of tit-for-tat expulsions. Alexander Sternik, the Russian government’s senior official in Britain, has hinted that any attempt to deport parliamentary assistant Katia Zatuliveter, detained by MI5 for allegedly spying for Russia, could result in tit-for-tat expulsions.
  • Kim Philby honored by plaque at Moscow SVR HQ. Russia has honored British Cold War spy Kim Philby with a plaque at the headquarters of the country’s foreign intelligence agency. Philby, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1963, is depicted in a sculptured portrait on the plaque as the two-faced Roman god Janus.

News you may have missed #452

  • Britain’s GCHQ turns to Google for help. GCHQ, Britain’s Cheltenham-based signals intelligence agency, is recruiting an expert on MapReduce, the patented number-crunching technique developed by Google to distribute the load of billions of web searches across its cluster of hundreds of thousands of commodity servers.
  • CIA double agent pleads guilty from prison. CIA officer Harold James Nicholson, who in 1997 was jailed for spying for Russia, has pleaded guilty to enlisting his son Nathan to sell the Russians more secrets and collect money owed to him by the Russian spy services.
  • Georgia offers to negotiate with Russia over spies. Tbilisi is ready for negotiations with Moscow on the repatriation of several alleged Russian spies arrested in Georgia, the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze has said.

News you may have missed #0084

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Analysis: Behind the Recent CIA Espionage Indictments

Harold Nicholson

H.J. Nicholson

In 1997, when Harold James Nicholson was convicted for working for Russian intelligence, he became the highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of spying on behalf of a foreign agency. Last Thursday, it emerged that 24-year-old Nathaniel James Nicholson, Harold Nicholson’s youngest son, was arrested by FBI counterintelligence officers and charged with repeatedly contacting Russian officials on behalf of his imprisoned father. According to the court documents (.pdf) released Thursday, the purpose of Nathaniel Nicholson’s contact with the Russians was “to collect moneys from the Russian Federation for his [father’s] past espionage activities”. In reporting on the Nicholsons’ case, The New York Times quoted an anonymous “intelligence official” who played down Harold Nicholson’s importance for the Russians and suggested that “[t]his just shows that the Russians are either sentimental or stupid”. In fact, the Russians are neither, and The New York Times‘ sources should know better than to downplay Nicholson’s continued contact with his Russian handlers. Read article→

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