a historic report last week from the nation’s top boss of counterintelligence.
the need for the United States to order the closure of the Chinese government’s consulate in Houston.
metaphor for this aspect of the spy game: a layer cake.
There’s a layer of activity that is visible to all — the actions or comments of public figures, or statements made via official channels.
Then there’s a clandestine layer that is usually visible only to another clandestine service: the work of spies being watched by other spies.
Counterintelligence officials watching Chinese intelligence activities in Houston, for example, knew the consulate was a base for efforts to steal intellectual property or recruit potential agents
And there’s at least a third layer about which the official statements raised questions: the work of spies who are operating without being detected.
The challenges of election security include its incredible breadth — every county in the United States is a potential target — and vast depth, from the prospect of cyberattacks on voter systems, to the theft of information that can then be released to embarrass a target, to the ongoing and messy war on social media over disinformation and political agitation.
Witnesses have told Congress that when Facebook and Twitter made it more difficult to create and use fake accounts to spread disinformation and amplify controversy, Russia and China began to rely more on open channels.
In 2016, Russian influencemongers posed as fake Americans and engaged with them as though they were responding to the same election alongside one another. Russian operatives even used Facebook to organize real-world campaign events across the United States.
But RT’s account on Twitter or China’s foreign ministry representatives aren’t pretending to do anything but serve as voices for Moscow or Beijing.
the offer of a $10 million bounty for information about threats to the election.
more on trolls in this IMS blog