espionage - updates

Rappler's latest stories on espionage

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Biggest fears for 2020

Jan 08, 2020 - 2:00 PM

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Russia extends detention of man accused as U.S. spy

Dec 24, 2019 - 7:31 PM

Paul Whelan, who also has Irish, Canadian and British citizenship, was arrested on December 28 last year for allegedly receiving state secrets

DETAINED. Paul Whelan is a former Marine. Photo from Whelan's Facebook page

Popular Mideast app ToTok pulled after report it was spying tool

Dec 24, 2019 - 5:28 AM

Apple and Google remove the app from their online marketplaces following a report about how the app allowed the United Arab Emirates government to track the conversations, movements, and other details of users

TOTOK. Photo from Totok official website


U.S. charges Chinese national with industrial espionage

Nov 22, 2019 - 6:36 PM

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says Washington is trying to use the case to back its accusations that China steals technology from US companies

Chinese scientist pleads guilty to technology theft

Nov 13, 2019 - 12:18 PM

The market value of the next-generation battery technology the Chinese national was accused of stealing was more than $1 billion, the US Justice Department says

HONGJIN TAN. Photo from his LinkedIn page


3 charged in U.S. with spying on Twitter users for Saudi Arabia

Nov 07, 2019 - 2:44 PM

Two Saudis and 1 US citizen allegedly worked together on behalf of Riyadh to unmask ownership details behind dissident Twitter accounts, the US Justice Department says


Facts about NSO Group, the Israeli firm accused of cyber espionage

Oct 30, 2019 - 8:40 AM

NSO Group produces Pegasus, a highly invasive tool that can reportedly switch on a target's cell phone camera and microphone and access data on it, effectively turning the phone into a pocket spy

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WhatsApp sues Israeli firm NSO over cyber espionage

Oct 30, 2019 - 7:23 AM

The suit filed in a California federal court contends that NSO Group tried to infect approximately 1,400 "target devices" with malicious software to steal valuable information from those using the messaging app

Assange ordered to court for extradition hearing

Oct 11, 2019 - 10:46 PM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be sentenced to spend up to 175 years in a US prison if convicted on all charges filed under the US Espionage Act

ASSANGE. This file photo taken on February 05, 2016 shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange coming out on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy to address the media in central London. File photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

Probes show Russia staged Salisbury chemical attack from London

Jun 29, 2019 - 11:17 PM

Investigations show a top Russian military intelligence officer coordinated a 2018 chemical attack in Salisbury, which saw former Russian spy Sergei Skripa and his daughter slumped over a park bench after being poisoned

SCENE OF CRIME. In this file photo taken on March 8, members of the emergency services in green biohazard encapsulated suits fix the tent over the bench where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found on March 4 in critical condition at The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, southern England. File photo by Ben Stansall/AFP

U.S. charges Julian Assange with violating Espionage Act

May 24, 2019 - 8:40 AM

(UPDATED) WikiLeaks denounces the charges as 'an unprecedented attack on the global free press' and an 'extraterritorial application of US law'

NEW CHARGES. In this file photo taken on May 1, 2019 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from the window of a prison van as he is driven into Southwark Crown Court in London, before being sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions in 2012. File photo by Daniel  Leal-Olivas/AFP

U.S. embassy staffer espionage trial resumes in Turkey

May 15, 2019 - 4:47 PM

Metin Topuz is accused of contacts with police and a prosecutor suspected of ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says ordered an attempted coup in 2016

TRIAL. People walk past an armored Turkish police vehicle standing outside the courthouse in Istanbul on March 28, 2019, during the trial of Metin Topuz, an US consulate staffer accused of spying and attempting to overthrow the government. File photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Panama ex-president Martinelli faces up to 21 years in jail

Mar 23, 2019 - 3:23 PM

Former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli created and directed 'an organized state apparatus' for domestic espionage when in office from 2009-2014

IMPRISONMENT. Panama's former president (2009-2014) Ricardo Martinelli (C), is escorted by police officers as he leaves the court where he was attending a hearing over wiretapping allegations, to be taken to the hospital in Panama City on March 22, 2019. Martinelli's trial was interrupted when he suffered a hypertension episode. Photo by Luis Acosta/AFP

U.S. ups pressure on Europe over 5G infrastructure from Huawei

Mar 14, 2019 - 9:56 AM

US General Curtis Scaparrotti, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, says that they're not going to communicate with Berlin if Huawei is inside their defense communications

Shutterstock photo


Huawei warns of action against hostile markets

Jan 23, 2019 - 2:00 PM

Huawei says it could pull out of partnerships in hostile countries as it seeks to counter security concerns in the West over its 5G technology

HUAWEI. Huawei Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei speaks during a session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 22, 2015 in Davos. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP


China rebukes ex-envoys over detained Canadians

Jan 22, 2019 - 6:44 PM

An open letter from a group of former diplomats and academics says both Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor worked to improve understanding of China and to promote better relations with the world

China's Huawei 'fires' employee arrested in Poland

Jan 12, 2019 - 10:22 PM

Citing management rules in company contracts, Huawei says it 'has decided to immediately terminate its employer relationship with Wang Weijing'

HUAWEI. In this file photo taken on July 8, 2018, a woman uses her mobile phone in front of a Huawei logo at Beijing International Consumer Electronics Expo in Beijing. Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP

China seeks consular access for Huawei employee arrested in Poland

Jan 12, 2019 - 11:59 AM

Citing China's foreign ministry of affairs, state broadcaster CCTV said Beijing is "closely following" the detention of Wang Weijing and has asked to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible."

HUAWEI. An attendee walk by the Huawei booth at CES 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

U.S. seeking access to ex-Marine detained in Russia – Pompeo

Jan 02, 2019 - 9:22 PM

Ex-Marine Paul Whelan's family denies he was a spy and says he was just visiting Moscow to attend a wedding

HELPING AN AMERICAN. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a press conference during a NATO Foreign ministers' meeting at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on April 27, 2018. Photo by John Thys/AFP

Iran has arrested 'dozens of spies' – intelligence minister

Aug 29, 2018 - 6:52 PM

Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi did not provide details of the 'dozens of spies,' or over what period they had been arrested in the interview televised late on Tuesday

MAHMOUD ALAVI. Photo from Wikipedia by Tasnim News Agency

Chinese-American engineer charged with stealing GE technology

Aug 03, 2018 - 8:10 AM

The FBI allegedly found a handbook detailing 'resources' Beijing would grant to individuals providing certain technologies, court documents say

GE. A General Electric Co. logo is displayed on the door of one of the company's microwave ovens being offered for sale at a Sears store January 22, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. File photo by Scott Olson/AFP


U.S. arrests Russian agent for conspiring to influence American politics

Jul 17, 2018 - 7:56 AM

The US justice department says the charges are conspiring to act as an agent of Russia 'by developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics'

U.S., Britain warn of Russian campaign to hack networks

Apr 17, 2018 - 9:58 AM

The router hacking operation has targeted both government and private sector groups, and the key providers of network infrastructure and internet services serving them

All photos from Shutterstock

Watchdog confirms UK findings on nerve agent used on Russian spy

Apr 12, 2018 - 11:52 PM

Samples tested by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 'confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical,' says a summary of the Hague-based group's report

CHEMICAL. In this file photo taken on March 10, 2018, members of the emergency services in protective coveralls and breathing equipment cover ambulances with tarpaulins at the Salisbury District Hospital in Salisbury, southern England, on March 10, 2018, in connection with the major incident sparked after a man and a woman were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Russia diplomats, families, leave U.S. embassy

Apr 01, 2018 - 8:40 AM

In total, 171 people will leave the country, state news agency TASS reports Russian ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, as saying

EXPELLED. Russian diplomats leave their embassy in Washington. Photo by Zach Gibson/AFP

U.S. expels 60 Russians as allies back Britain in spy row

Mar 26, 2018 - 10:49 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Canada, Ukraine, Albania, Australia, and most European Union states match the United States' move with smaller-scale expulsions, after Britain urged allies to respond to the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal

Kremlin furious as Britain blames Putin for ex-spy attack

Mar 17, 2018 - 9:28 AM

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Britain Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's claims violated all rules of diplomatic protocol

ESPIONAGE. A police officer stand in front of a cordon in front of The Mill pub in Salisbury, southern England, on March 11, 2018, as investigations continue in connection with the major incident sparked after a man and a woman were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack a week ago. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Nerve agent used in ex-spy attack found at UK pub, restaurant

Mar 11, 2018 - 8:23 PM

The March 4 attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia is being treated by detectives as attempted murder

ESPIONAGE. A police officer stand in front of a cordon in front of The Mill pub in Salisbury, southern England, on March 11, 2018, as investigations continue in connection with the major incident sparked after a man and a woman were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack a week ago. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, February 27, 2018

Feb 27, 2018 - 8:20 AM

Hello! Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss this Tuesday

Former CIA agent's arrest follows U.S. spying debacle in China

Jan 18, 2018 - 10:52 AM

According to The New York Times, US counter-intelligence has been working overtime since at least 2012 to uncover a possible pro-Beijing mole within the ranks of America's espionage services

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. In this file photo, a man walks across the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at the lobby of the Original Headquarters Building at the CIA headquarters February 19, 2009 in McLean, Virginia. Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP

Former CIA agent arrested with top secret info

Jan 17, 2018 - 7:59 AM

US authorities arrest a former CIA agent, Hong Kong resident Jerry Chun Shing Lee, after discovering he had an unauthorized notebook that had the identities of undercover US spies

INTEL CENTRAL. A man crosses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on August 14, 2008. Saul Loeb/AFP

North Korea 'agent' charged with WMD sale plot in Australia

Dec 17, 2017 - 11:34 AM

The 59-year-old naturalized Australian citizen of Korean descent was attempting to broker illicit deals that could have generated 'tens of millions of dollars' for North Korea, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) says

UNDER ARREST. The suspected North Korean 'agent' being arrested by members of the Australian Federal Police, December 17, 2017. The Photo courtesy Australian Federal Police

Moscow accuses U.S. of seeking to recruit Russian journalists

Dec 06, 2017 - 10:27 PM

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Maria Sakharova says 'Russian journalists, including those in the United States, have come under great pressure from the special services, notably through attempts at recruitment'

GREAT PRESSURE. A video grab made from handout footage taken in Moscow on April 7, 2017 shows Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry/AFP

No evidence Obama wiretapped Trump Tower – U.S. Justice Dept

Sep 03, 2017 - 9:17 AM

The FBI had previously shot down the claims that were made as controversy over alleged links between Trump s campaign team and Russia intensified earlier this year

NOT WIRETAPPED. A view of Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, November 16, 2016 in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP

Singapore to expel professor for being 'foreign agent'

Aug 05, 2017 - 3:29 PM

Huang Jing a US citizen of Chinese descent who held a senior position at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy had engaged in activities inimical to Singapore s national interests the government says

This file photo taken on April 16, 2015 shows a sign board pointing towards the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Roslan Rahman/AFP

U.S.-China citizen given 10 years for espionage in Iran

Jul 17, 2017 - 1:45 AM

The official news agency of Iran s judiciary identifies the man as Xiyue Wang a researcher at Princeton University

China 'highly alarmed' after reports of Australian spying

Jun 29, 2017 - 6:15 PM

An employee of China s national security department tells the Global Times that Australian intelligence agents in disguise collect information from Chinese people overseas or even encourage them to subvert China

Mexican journalists, activists accuse govt of spying on them

Jun 20, 2017 - 3:23 PM

This is an operation by the Mexican state in which state agents – far from doing what they should legally do – have used our resources our taxes our money to commit serious abuses

In this file photo, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a special message to the media pledging to strengthen mechanisms to guarantee the safety of journalists, at the Los Pinos Residence in Mexico City, on May 17, 2017. Alfredo Estrella/AFP

National Democratic Front, Aquino and Trillanes, London attack | Midday wRap

Jun 19, 2017 - 1:24 PM

Watch the midday newscast with Acor Arceo

Ombudsman junks treason, espionage complaint vs Aquino, Trillanes

Jun 18, 2017 - 8:10 PM

The Ombudsman says the Philippines backchannel talks with China during the Aquino administration do not constitute treason or espionage

Leaked intel report shows Russian hackers probed U.S. voting systems

Jun 06, 2017 - 11:39 AM

The alleged leak of the National Security Agency document by one of the tens of thousands of private contractors to US spy agencies becomes the newest embarrassment for the US intelligence community

SECRET VOTING. In this file photo, a man votes at a polling place at a high school in McLean, Virginia during the US presidential election on November 8, 2016. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP

Trump's personal lawyer subpoenaed in Russia probe

Jun 01, 2017 - 8:29 AM

The House Intelligence committee said it had approved subpoenas for Michael Cohen and for Trump s former national security advisor Michael Flynn to appear before them and supply document

SUBPOENAED. In this file photo, attorney Michael Cohen arrives at Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York. Bryan R. Smith/AFP

Trump dismisses 'fabricated' report of son-in-law's outreach to Russia

May 29, 2017 - 8:05 AM

Trump: It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the FakeNews media

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE. This file photo taken on May 23, 2017 shows US President Donald Trump's senior advisor Jared Kushner during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Thomas Coex/AFP

Trump girds for defense of top aide in Russia row

May 28, 2017 - 10:54 AM

UPDATED The report if confirmed would raise new questions about the Trump team s relationship with the Russians who US intelligence agencies say tried to sway the November election in Trump s favor

NO COMMENT. US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania return to the White House on May 27, 2017 in Washington, DC following his nine-day foreign trip. Brendan Smialowski/AFP

China killed or jailed up to 20 U.S. spies – report

May 21, 2017 - 8:16 AM

The losses are comparable to the number of US assets lost in the Soviet Union and Russia because of the betrayals of two infamous spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen

Trump insists no evidence of collusion with Russia

May 09, 2017 - 2:40 PM

Trump took to Twitter to dismiss as old news the Senate testimony by former acting attorney general Sally Yates about his former national security advisor Michael Flynn

US President Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he makes his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on May 4, 2017. Mandel Ngan/AFP

Trump son-in-law Kushner to face Russia investigation panel

Mar 28, 2017 - 7:26 AM

Kushner 36 was Trump s main intermediary with foreign governments during the 2016 election campaign and now plays that role in the White House

TO BE QUESTIONED. This file photo taken on February 16, 2017 shows Senior White House adviser Jared Kushneras he arrives to attend US President Donald Trump's press conference at the White House in Washington, DC. Nicholas Kamm/AFP

FBI confirms probe of Trump team ties to Russia

Mar 20, 2017 - 11:17 PM

UPDATED The FBI is investigating the Russian government s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election Comey tells a hearing by the House Intelligence Committee

JAMES COMEY. FBI Director James Comey gestures as National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers looks on during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election campaign on March 20, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo by Mandel Ngan/ AFP

Trump tweets Russia collusion claims 'fake news'

Mar 20, 2017 - 8:01 PM

UPDATED His tweet comes just as FBI and NSA chiefs are to speak to Congress on what ties Trump may have with Russia and his shocking claim that he was wiretapped by his predecessor Barack Obama

CALLING PUTIN. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin from the Oval Office of the White House on January 28, 2017, in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP

'No evidence of collusion' between Trump campaign, Russia – U.S. lawmaker

Mar 20, 2017 - 7:20 AM

Based on everything I have up to this morning – no evidence of collusion by Trump s team and Moscow Representative Devin Nunes chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says

TWO FACES. A mural depicting a winking Vladimir Putin taking off his Donald Trump mask is painted on a storefront outside of the Levee bar in Brooklyn on February 25, 2017 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP