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Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S helicopter in the North Cascades National Park. Photo:Ignacio D. Perez
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IN THE NEWS

Apr 16

NATO officials have vowed to boost the alliance’s cyber defences. During an April 15 virtual conference, they added the commitment to an overarching decision to prevent catastrophic disruptions of member states. Host Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said “malicious” activities had increased as the COVID-19 pandemic evolved and that the alliance needed to “recognize that cyberspace is at the forefront of increased global competition, and democratic nations must stand together against deviations from acceptable behavior.”

Apr 16

Major U.S. airlines are ignoring advice from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep middle seats vacant to curtail the spread of COVID-19. American, United, Delta and Southwest Airlines have announced plans to unblock those seats, citing their national lobby’s conclusion that the risk of onboard transmission is low.

Apr 15

The U.S. has imposed new sanctions on Russia and formally blamed its SVR intelligence agency for last year’s massive SolarWinds breach of government and corporate systems. Designed to choke off lending to the Kremlin, the sanctions against 32 entities and individuals coincided with diplomatic expulsions in Washington. Also, in collaboration with allies, the U.S. has sanctioned eight individuals and entities associated with Russia’s occupation of Crimea.

Apr 15

Interoperability with evolving cloud-computing technologies is presenting a challenge for NATO as it tries to set alliance-wide standards. France, Germany and the U.S. have already initiated their own programs but a researcher points out that “showing results quickly is important for NATO to give a common direction.”

Apr 14

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services says last year saw the highest level of foreign espionage and interference directed at Canadian targets since the end of the Cold War. “The fluid and rapidly evolving environment caused by COVID-19 has created a situation ripe for exploitation,” CSIS Director David Vigneault says in his latest annual report. “Violent extremism, foreign interference, espionage and malicious cyber activity, accelerated, evolved and in many ways became much more serious.”

Apr 14

An international security think tank is calling on the U.S. and its allies to press for new rules governing the use of outer space. The Washington-based Atlantic Council argues in an April122 report that with more than 70 countries having national space programs, “space governance is prime for a reboot.”

Apr 14

A Japanese-owned but Panamanian-registered container ship which blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week in week in March is not free to leave the waterway pending resolution of claims for as much as $900 million in compensation.

Apr 14

A surge in Chinese companies’ investment in U.S. defence suppliers has prompted the Pentagon to approve more than $311 million in potential partnerships with the private sector in a bid to contain Beijing;s influence. The Trusted Capital program targets, among others, companies involved in artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Apr 14

China warned the U.S. April 12 to stop “playing with fire” in its relationship with Taiwan. It was responding to new State Department guidelines on deepening ties with the island republic which China considers a “rogue” province. “We urge the U.S. side to grasp the situation, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and . . . immediately stop official contact with Taiwan in any form,” a government spokesman said.

Apr 13

Canada is being urged by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to review military export restrictions imposed after it was confirmed that Canadian technology was on drones used in the battle between Armenian and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. His ministry says Cavusoglu conveyed concerns about Canada’s stance” during a call with his Canadian counterpart, Marc Garneau.

Apr 13

Lengthy negotiations between Air Canada and the federal government have yielded a financial support package which includes a total of $5.9 billion in low-interest loans in return for the carrier maintaining what’s left of its workforce, restoring most regional services, ordering new Airbus and Boeing jets and agreeing to refunds for passengers whose flights were cancelled last year over COVID-19 concerns. The government also is taking a small equity position in the airline. “We were determined to get a good deal for Canada and Canadians,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland replied April 12 when asked during a why negotiations had taken so long. “We wanted . . . not just any deal -- and getting a good deal can sometimes take a little time.”

Apr 13

The chairman of the parliamentary National Security and Intelligence Committee says anyone involved in Canada’s electoral processes must be alert to possible foreign interference. “It means individuals joining political parties and attending nomination meetings in order to attempt to exert influence,” David McGuinty said after the committee’s latest report was tabled in the House of Commons April 11. “Usually, the motivation is directed in some way by a foreign government.”

Apr 12

The federal government has cancelled 29 export permits for Turkey after finding Canadian technology had been used in drones during the 2019 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “This use was not consistent with Canadian foreign policy, nor end-use assurances,” Foreign Minister Garneau said April 12. “Turkey is an important NATO ally and applications related to NATO cooperation programs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.”

Apr 12

Climate change and Chinese expansionism have been identified as key Arctic challenges by the Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, LGen Wayne Eyre, in a note to Canadian Armed Forces personnel. “Various trends such as climate change, increased interest in the Arctic, and challenges to our national resilience . . . are driving change in how we conceptualize national defence,” he wrote.

Apr 12

Canada has signed on to a multinational accord aimed at improving the strategic implications of climate change in polar regions. The other parties are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the U.S.

Apr 12

A power failure apparently caused by a planned explosion struck Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site April 11 in what Iranian officials was sabotage. Israeli and U.S. intelligence sources have said Israel was involved.

Apr 12

President Joe Biden’s first discretionary funding request to Congress sets a $1.5 trillion spending roadmap that includes cash funding for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and a reserve for “information technology enhancements.” Other key elements include funding for two new research agencies focused on health and climate.

Apr 09

Lingering concerns about Russia’s withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty evidently means the U.S. is reluctant to rejoin. While there has been no final decision, a recent diplomatic memorandum states that rejoining the 34-country pact abandoned by the previous U.S. administration would send the “wrong message” to Moscow.

Apr 09

Seven Chinese supercomputing companies have been added to a U.S. list of entities restricted from buying U.S. technologies without a waiver. The Bureau of Industry and Security within the Commerce Department confirmed the move April 9, saying the companies “are involved in activities that support China’s military actors, its destabilizing military modernization efforts, and/or its weapons of mass destruction.”

Apr 09

U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants broad access to data on airlines’ passengers and cargo shipments in U.S. skies. “CBP has a critical need to obtain names and related information of passengers who are arriving and departing the U.S. on commercial airlines,” it says. “Equally important, CBP needs to obtain manifests of cargo.”

FRONTLINE COMMENTARY

(Apr 20)
Chris MacLean's picture

On all three counts against him, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the deadly-force arrest of George Floyd. It's an important step on a journey that must not pause.

(Mar 30)
Scott Newark's picture

This overview of the Ontario Budget 2021 highlights items that will impact safety and security for our readers. A big push is being made to support Indigenous women, victims of crime, and to help those with mental health and addiction issues. More probation and parole officers will be hired. And a made-in-Ontario tobacco strategy is making progress on addressing unregulated tobacco.

(Feb 28)
Scott Newark's picture

The question of constitutionality of the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement is an important border security and public safety issue that will profoundly impact Canada.

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Frontline Security Cover Issue 2 - 2020