Remembering Gouzenko, the defector who triggered the Cold War

Igor GouzenkoBy ANDREW KAVCHAK* | intelNews.org
In 1998, my wife and I moved to downtown Ottawa, the capital of Canada. In 1999, when my first son was born I took several months off work to stay home with him. Every day I would take him to the local park. It was called Dundonald Park, located on Somerset Street, between Bay and Lyon. While my son was enjoying the outdoors and the fresh air in the park, I was routinely distracted by an old brick two-story building across the street. Something very dramatic happened there decades ago. And yet, there was no marker, no plaque, no statue, no monument…nothing. On the way home my son would typically fall asleep in the stroller. And in my free time I began making some phone calls to city officials and federal government offices. What would it take to erect some sort of historic marker to indicate that the first significant international incident of the Cold War happened in downtown Ottawa, so that generations of future Canadians and tourists in the nation’s capital could be informed or reminded of the historic events that transpired here?

The Japanese formally surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. The world assumed that peace and reconstruction would replace war and destruction. However, just three days later, on September 5, Igor Gouzenko, a cypher clerk at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa walked out of the embassy with over 100 secret documents detailing the existence of a vast Soviet espionage network in Canada and other countries of the West. He wanted to expose the Soviet activity and warn the West. He went to the night editor of the Ottawa Journal and provided him with what could have been the scoop of the century, but the night editor told him to come back the next day. He spent the night with his pregnant wife and infant son at their apartment at 511 Somerset Street. The next day he returned to see the day time editor at the newspaper. Read more of this post

Canada denies reports of spy devices found in military complex

Former Nortel campusBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org
The government of Canada has denied media reports that surreptitious listening devices were found in an Ottawa building complex that is currently being prepared to house Canada’s Department of National Defence. Canadian media reported on Monday that the mysterious spy devices were found by workers employed at the former headquarters of Nortel Networks, a Canadian telecommunications company that went bankrupt in 2009. Canada’s conservative government purchased Nortel’s former headquarters in Ottawa in 2011, and has invested close to C$1 billion (US$960 million) on a plan to move the country’s Defence Department to the site. The media reports did not specify whether the alleged eavesdropping devices were installed recently, or whether they date from the time when Nortel was headquartered at the site. In 2009, when the company declared bankruptcy, there were intense rumors that its operations had been harmed irreparably by an aggressive industrial espionage campaign conducted by Chinese hackers. On Monday, Canada’s CTV News reported that the country’s Department of National Defence was considering scrapping plans to move to the former Nortel complex, due to the discovery of the listening devices. On Monday, the Department of National Defence refused to comment directly on the allegations, stating simply that it could not provide “any information regarding specific measures and tests undertaken to secure a location or facility for reasons of national security”. On Tuesday, however, Canadian government officials told The Ottawa Citizen newspaper it had been assured by the Defence Department that “no listening devices” had been found at the former Nortel site. Read more of this post

Canadian reporter says Chinese news agency asked him to spy

Mark BourrieBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A longtime Canadian journalist says he resigned his post at China’s state-run news agency after he was asked to use his press-pass privileges to spy on a prominent Tibetan separatist leader. Mark Bourrie, an Ottawa-based reporter and author of several books, told The Canadian Press news agency that he was first approached by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua in 2009. The veteran journalist was allegedly told by Xinhua officials that the agency planned to expand its news coverage of Canada and wished to compete with other international news services active in North America. Bourrie said that, upon joining Xinhua, he began to cover “routine political subjects”; gradually, however, his superiors started making “some unusual requests”. In one characteristic case, he was asked to report on the identities and contact information of political activists who had participated in legal protests against the visit to Canada of Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2010. Bourrie says he rebuffed such requests, because they did not seem to him to have journalistic value. In April of this year, Xinhua’s bureau chief in Ottawa, Dacheng Zhang, allegedly asked Bourrie to attend a keynote speech by the 14th Dalai Lama at the Sixth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet, which was held at the Ottawa Conference Center. Based in India, the Dalai Lama is the most prominent international figure of the movement for the independence of the Tibet Autonomous Region, which has been ruled by the People’s Republic of China since 1951. Read more of this post

Canada reportedly expels Russian diplomats over spy affair

Jeffrey Paul DelisleBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Canadian government officials have refused to confirm or deny media reports that Ottawa expelled several Russian diplomats recently in connection with an alleged espionage affair. The alleged expulsions are reportedly connected with the case of Royal Canadian Navy Sub-Lieutenant Jeffrey Paul Delisle. Earlier this week, Delisle became the first person to be charged under Canada’s post-9/11 Security of Information Act, for allegedly passing protected government information to an unspecified foreign body. According to media reports, Delisle, who had top-level security clearance, worked at Canada’s ultra-secure TRINITY communications center in Halifax. Canadian authorities have refused to reveal the country for which Delisle allegedly spied. But late last night, CTV revealed that the names of two Russian diplomats and two technicians stationed at the embassy of the Russian Federation in Ottawa had been quietly dropped from the list of recognized diplomatic officials in Canada. The list, which is approved periodically by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, contains the names of all foreign diplomats legally permitted to operate in Canada. One of the missing names, that of Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry V. Fedorchatenko, bears the title of the embassy’s Assistant Defense Attaché. Russian consular officials in Canada rejected speculation that the missing diplomats were expelled by the Canadian government in connection with the Delisle affair. It appears that Canadian counterintelligence investigators had been monitoring Jeff Delisle for quite some time, perhaps even before 2010. If Delisle acted —as he is reported to have done— as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia, it is certainly not surprising that he was a naval officer. He was probably selected by the Russians because he was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy. Ever since Canada joined NATO, in the late 1940s, its tactical contribution to the Organization has been mostly naval. Read more of this post

New research reveals extent of East German spying in Canada

Helmut Muller-Enbergs

Muller-Enbergs

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Previously unknown aspects of East German intelligence-gathering operations in Canada will be presented this coming Saturday at the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies in Ottawa. The new data was unearthed in Berlin by Helmut Müller-Enbergs, a researcher with Germany’s Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the German Democratic Republic (BStU). His findings show that the Stasi (Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung), the main foreign intelligence department of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), was able to gain “deep insights into the domestic and foreign affairs of Canada”. The feat appears impressive when considering that the GDR had no embassy in Canada until 1987. Read more of this post