Tagged: spies

Russian Agents Are Brilliant, Beautiful, And Highly Trained. But They Don't Understand How To Delete A Facebook Account Either.

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Anna Chapman, a/k/a Аня Чaпмaна, who is accused of spying for the Russian federal security service, still has a Facebook page.  And it's going to hang her.

Chapman's extensive online presence, including more than 90 photographs posted to Facebook and an apparently glamorous lifestyle as a property millionaire, has made her the focus of much of the media coverage of the case. …

Chapman's CV also claimed that she worked for a hedge fund in London called Navigator. No record has yet emerged that such a fund existed, according to the specialist hedge-fund website, FINalternatives.

She is also said to have been married to a British citizen, but this has not been confirmed.

She probably wasn't.  In fact, it appears that most of Chapman's life is an invention, one thoroughly documented online.

In its way, this is a brilliant idea on the part of Chapman and her masters in the FSB.  Where Soviet agents in the cold war had to spend dull, dreary decades establishing an identity, it seems Chapman was able to invent herself out of whole cloth in a relatively short time.

But there's the rub.  Past deep cover agents such as Whittaker Chambers, Kim Philby, and Richard Sorge (the greatest spy in history) spent years establishing roots.  They were very difficult to uproot, and in some cases, such as Alger Hiss, to this day have gullible defenders despite overwhelming evidence of guilt.

Chapman appears to have unraveled in a very short time, in part because her online identity didn't check out.  And she can never testify in her own defense, because the very internet she used will destroy her on impeachment.

I wonder how many of Chapman's Facebook friends, 167 strong as of this writing, have removed the association.  And whether they know that their names are now forever in an FBI file as possible associates of a Russian agent, despite the removal.

Never write anything online that can be written on paper.

Never write anything on paper that can be spoken in private.

Never speak to two people if one will do.

If you do speak to two people, hunt down one and kill him in secret, to let the other know you're serious about your privacy.

Globalization Watch

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The United States government is warning travelers to the Olympic games in Beijing that the Chinese government will seize and interfere with laptops and cellphones.

National security agencies are warning businesses and federal officials that laptops and e-mail devices taken to the Beijing Olympics are likely to be penetrated by Chinese agents aiming to steal secrets or plant bugs to infiltrate U.S. computer networks.

Chinese government and industry use electronic espionage to "easily access official and personal computers," says one recent report by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a federally chartered panel comprising security experts from corporations and the State, Commerce and Treasury departments.

Yet, old fart that I am, I can remember back when seizure of and interference with laptops and cellular phones from overseas travelers was considered a job for Americans.

Will the outsourcing never end?

Via Knoxville Talks through Instapundit, who gets the irony but doesn't care, because this is … different.