News you may have missed #0229

  • Russians claim outing ‘100 spies’ in Novosibirsk in 2009. Siberian scientific centers in Novosibirsk, and especially in its suburb of Akademgorodok, nicknamed “science city” by the Russians, are noted for their research in the fields of oil and gas geology, nanotechnology, creation of new materials, and biochemistry, among other subjects. See here for previous intelNews reporting on this issue.
  • Obama proposes liaison exchange with North Korea. US President Barack Obama has proposed setting up a liaison office in North Korea –something like a US Interests Section– in a letter to leader Kim Jong Il. Such a move would help augment the US’ meager intelligence gathering in North Korea.
  • Estonian phone, web data tapped by Swedish intelligence? The Estonian Security Police (KaPo) has cautioned Estonian telecommunications users to avoid discussing “sensitive subjects” by phone and on the Internet, after an Estonian newspaper revealed that large chunks of Estonia’s telecommunications traffic pass through Sweden before reaching the outside world.

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Comment: Did Russian Intelligence Hack Climate-Change Emails?

Tomsk, Siberia

Tomsk, Siberia

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS* | intelNews.org |
For over a fortnight, the world’s news services have focused on the so-called ‘Climategate’, the hundreds of University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit emails that were hacked from the university’s server and leaked onto the Internet. The stolen emails, some of which date back to 1996, have reignited conspiracy theories about the role of human activity in climate change. But there is surprisingly little discussion about who hacked into the university’s server and stole the personal emails.

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Russian intelligence notes influx of foreign spies into Siberia

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The press office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced a noticeable increase in espionage activity by agents of foreign governments in Siberia. Russian counterintelligence agents have apparently detected increased presence of operatives from Asian-Pacific countries in and around Siberian scientific centers in Novosibirsk, and especially in its suburb of Akademgorodok, nicknamed “science city” by the Russians. The head of FSB’s local directorate in Novosibirsk, Sergey Savchenkov, said that “dozens of foreign spies” had been discovered in the region in 2008″, and that most of them were targeting Russian scientists using “all possible means” to extract confidential information. Siberian academic facilities are noted for their research in the fields of oil and gas geology, nanotechnology, creation of new materials, and biochemistry, among other subjects. This is not the first time in recent months that the FSB has drawn attention to scientific and technical espionage on Russian soil. In December of 2008, Major-General Valeriy Beklenishchev, who heads the FSB’s Saratov branch, said nanotechnology research projects conducted at regional universities, as well as research on “heat and power engineering and electronics” were prime espionage targets of foreign operatives.