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FBI Says American Universities Infiltrated by Spies 418

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the cold-war-2.0 dept.
An anonymous reader writes, using various bits of the article: "While most international students, researchers and professors come to the U.S. for legitimate reasons, universities are an 'ideal place' for foreign intelligence services 'to find recruits, propose and nurture ideas, learn and even steal research data, or place trainees,' according to a 2011 FBI report. Tretyakov was quoted as saying, 'We often targeted academics because their job was to share knowledge and information by teaching it to others, and this made them less guarded than, say, UN diplomats.' China has 'lots of students who either are forced to or volunteer to collect information,' he said. 'I've heard it said, "If it wanted to steal a beach, Russia would send a forklift. China would send a thousand people who would pick up a grain of sand at a time."' China also has more than 3,000 front companies in the U.S. 'for the sole purpose of acquiring our technology,' said former CIA officer S. Eugene Poteat."
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FBI Says American Universities Infiltrated by Spies

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  • So it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:12AM (#39628311)

    The war on the academic sector. One more nail in our coffin.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:13AM (#39628313)

    This was a headline for the 1960's. Today its much, much worse - and sadly only now noticed. 3,000 companies? Only? And how many tens of thousands of grain-pickers? China, Iran, you name it - the US and the West are over-run....

  • World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:15AM (#39628321)

    Virtually all of us are infested with CIA. What's the problem?

  • How about sharing? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:22AM (#39628359)

    Seriously, knowledge is supposed to be shared.

    As for technology, one could argue that the current patent system is broken. Besides, I personally find it hard to believe that it's necessary for the Chinese to spy a lot on US universities when all the latest gizmos are produced in China anyway.

  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:23AM (#39628361)

    The purpose of universities is to share knowledge. That's why research gets published - for the whole world to see.
    Information can not get stolen. Not when it's about copyright and not when it's about research. It can only get copied and doing that generally leads to more knowledge.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:24AM (#39628365)

    I don't trust anything the FBI says. Any more than I would trust an announcement from the NKVD (The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). What is the purpose of this announcement supposed to be? To induce paranoia and racism against any student whose genetics cannot be traced from Western Europe? Is it something along the lines of "If you see something, say something."? And look where that got us. The persecution of innocent people who look middle eastern or Indian or Pakistani. I think it's clear that our government's vision of an ideal society is to that of East Germany except more racially pure.

    The school's campus in Dubai needed a bailout and an unlikely savior had stepped forward: a Dubai-based company that offered to provide money and students.

    Simon was tempted. She also worried that the company, which had investors from Iran and wanted to recruit students from there, might be a front for the Iranian government, she said. If so, an agreement could violate federal trade sanctions and invite enemy spies.

    The CIA couldnâ(TM)t confirm that the company wasnâ(TM)t an arm of Iranâ(TM)s government. Simon rejected the offer and shut down undergraduate programs in Dubai, at a loss of $3.7 million.

    Un-fucking-believable. Paranoia, distrust, racism. It's truly a shameful time to be an American. Yes. College students are a threat. All Iranians and people from Dubai are a threat. Everyone and everything except lily white Americans of pure European descent are threats to our 'national security'. Trust no one. There are conspiracies everywhere you look and only the FBI and CIA can save us. Better increase their funding or we're all gonna die!

  • Re:OH MY GOD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by boaworm (180781) <> on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:35AM (#39628411) Homepage Journal

    Foreigners are at an university to "nurture ideas" and to "learn"!! CALL THE FBI!!!

    Was feeling the same. Isnt this the whole purpose of exchange students?

  • Re:The japanese (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mikael (484) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:38AM (#39628431)

    Patent trolls would sue anyone who had a bit of land that sloped into the ocean.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:46AM (#39628457) Homepage Journal

    Do you notice how the ideas that there are all these threats from everywhere are invading the public discourse?

    There are all these 'stories' about spies, these have been coming out fairly consistently. Anybody remembers Anna Chapman? AFAIC it was a story about a Russian prostitute mistaken for a super-secret spy.

    But there are all these other stories, everything, from spies to the idea that there is more racism or sexism than ever, to supposed nuclear threats from Iran and such, take your pick.

    In reality of-course there are various political forces that are gaining power from proliferation of ideas that there is this huge division: us vs. them, them vs. us, divide you into international camps, then into race camps and into gender camps, again, choose your poison.

    This is a very old trick - divide and conquer, use every bit of negative news and blow it way out of proportion, use any anecdotal evidence to create various false movements, whatever.

    It's all done in order to be able to take your attention away from the real problems. How about the fact that Obama was basically an agent of the banks and the ruling elite, very skilfully disguised as a populous movement with ideology of CHANGE - changing what? Changing the way that the government works!

    All the while Ron Paul is marginalised, the guy who is building real momentum, a real movement of change - this is scary, this has to be stopped and you know it's being actively fought against by the media and the government and every dollar that is coming from the corporate ruling elite.

    Your government and your corporate monopolistic elite are one and the same. Ask yourself: exactly what is fascism? How is it possible that a Republic descends into fascism? Through the little trick of 'democracy' of-course. Democracy is a gateway drug to fascism, democracy comes after republic creates enough freedoms that the economy booms and allows a few to feed the many, allows the many to ask the few to give them more and more without bothering themselves to produce. This is 'bread and circuses' and the politicians are using it very effectively to destroy the very concept of individual freedoms on daily basis.

    Notice how they even destroyed the concept of INDIVIDUAL freedoms by introducing the false flags of so called 'civil rights' and 'women rights' and 'minority rights' and whatever else rights. Why am I saying those are false flags? Because all of those people should have the same exact rights, and all of those rights are individual rights, but creating these separate concepts of 'rights' what really is done is that some are given not rights, but privileges, while others are forced into obligations.

    And you can't have individual freedoms when some are given something at the expense of others. You NEED a powerful state to ensure that these entitlements are given to some at the expense of others, and that's just another way to 'divide and conquer'.


    Closer to TFA: the universities are supposed to be these bastions of free expression of ideas, where non-mainstream ideas can be expressed and looked at without bias, but are they?

    Who will it help if the universities end up being 'secured' the way airports are with TSA agents, for example, looking for signs of 'infiltration'?

    How about FBI raiding universities with (or without) search warrants, turning papers and files over, breaking hands and throwing charges around? How about military doing it? (don't forget NDAA). What if they find a TERRORIST SYMPATHISER?! Will you ever see or hear from that person again, after all, they are terrorists, otherwise they wouldn't have been taken into the custody in the first place, right?

    You think it's too far? Where do you think this is going?

  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:47AM (#39628465)

    There's a clear difference.

    The CIA are americans, thus inherently good.

    The chinese are:
    1 - far.
    2 - non white.
    3 - non americans.

    Thus, they are inherently bad. Now it's just a matter of finding out which kind of bad they are.

    Terrorists doesn't seem to match, they are way down on the "terrorist-brown scale". So it's obviously either druglords, or spies.

    This month we'll try "SPIES!". It it doesn't stick, we'll try "DRUGLORDS!" next month.

    As a last resort, it's always possible to go back to "COMMUNISTS!".

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:52AM (#39628481)

    This was a headline for the 1960's. Today its much, much worse - and sadly only now noticed. 3,000 companies? Only? And how many tens of thousands of grain-pickers? China, Iran, you name it - the US and the West are over-run....

    Since the 1960s? The Cambridge Five [] were recruited at university back in the 1930s. This sort of thing has probably been going on as long as there have been universities. I bet the Romans infiltrated Greek universities to steal their latest catapult technology.

  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @05:59AM (#39628523)

    The CIA are americans, thus inherently good.

    Lol. You don't need the rest of the comment, that's funny enough.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @06:01AM (#39628527) Journal
    And the simple fact is i'm sure we do the same thing duh! Universities are where one often begins to question the way things are for the first time. You are a young adult, in some ways grown and others not, and many cling to idealism before that lovely jaded cynicism that so many of us have seeps in. Remember its a lot harder to recruit someone who just blindly accepts things at face value, easier when they begin to question why things are the way they are. I do find it ironic that the same things that help someone grow as a person can be labeled as "potentially subversive" depending on which flag you are waving.
  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @06:14AM (#39628595)

    The CIA are americans, thus inherently good.

    Lol. You don't need the rest of the comment, that's funny enough.

    As happens when you watch "Idiocracy" it's funny until you remember how many people actually, seriously, believe that.

    I've not personally known any other country wide culture that values its own members so highly.

    It might not even be a bad thing if it wasn't for the other side of the coin. "We are mostly good, except for some rotten apples." isn't bad. The problem comes when the subconscious adds "Unlike everybody else."

  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @06:23AM (#39628619)

    I've not personally known any other country wide culture that values its own members so highly.

    Well, appropriately, China does. If and when they get to the top of the economic heap, all of us non-Han will be niggers.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @06:27AM (#39628657)

    These days, I'm more afraid of the law enforcement on campus. I'm not aware of spies braining anyone with a nightstick (and stealing their phone) for recording them, or pepper-spraying someone for sitting on the sidewalk.

  • by FhnuZoag (875558) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:01AM (#39628779)

    I'm 90% certain this 3000 front companies figure is going to appear in a ton of places now. But where the hell does it come from?

    Because S. Eugene Poteat is no longer a CIA agent. He's been out of the CIA for over 10 years. So how does he have access to privileged intel on Chinese intelligence activities? How on earth could he, a man whose intel career ended well before the start of this nonsense, know?

    The answer is, by my reckoning, he doesn't. It's just a made up statistic. And there's a pattern behind this guy's statements too: he's long been a proponent of the removal of accountability from the intel services.

    "Thirty years ago," he wrote, "the Church and Pike Committees bought into the KGB perception management campaigns to discredit American intelligence and proceeded to limit the activities of the intelligence community ..."

    Since the Church and Pike Committee hearings are probably not covered in high school history courses, let me remind younger readers that these were congressional committees convened to investigate egregious excesses by an intelligence community that had come to act with little or no external accountability.

    The agency' excesses included assassinations, coups detats, revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements, covert action to influence the elections of friends and enemies alike, mind control experiments that sometimes led to murder, and other behaviors that caused lots of reasonable people to question the agency' unlimited freedom to act without transparency or accountability. The excesses were not about how they gathered intelligence so policies could be set. The excesses were about policies devised and executed in a black box.

    Poteat is saying that citizens concerned with that unrestrained behavior were deceived by the KGB. []

    There's a certain wing of the US who is pushing the intel agenda. By reproducing the cold war, they get more funding and the unlimited powers they always coveted. S. Eugene Poteat's proper title is 'Intellaine security company employee, and lobbyist for greater surveillance powers without civilian oversight'. Don't buy into their bullshit, unless they show their working.

  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:12AM (#39628833) Homepage Journal

    I've not personally known any other country wide culture that values its own members so highly.

    I do. My grandfather died fighting it. It was called the "Third Reich".

    Not a hundred years ago, patriotism to a degree that would alarm us today was pretty much the norm. Germany overdid it, but the rest of the western world wasn't all that much behind. Look at UK or US propaganda films from the early war years.

    But, over here in Europe, everyone got the idea of the nation pretty much bombed out of them. Some by the Axis, some by the Allies, a few especially lucky ones first by the one and then by the other. Afterwards, we sat down and said "ok, that was fucked up. Let's not do that again, ok?" - and the idea of the European Union was born.
    While we don't have a european identity, yet, and identify as german, french, british, etc. that spirit of Europe is there. And while the german press, for example, calls the greek dirty, lazy bastards, almost nobody in Europe would so much as contemplate the idea of bombing another European country.

    But this strong concept of national identity has remained in the US. We Europeans look with bemusement at quirks such as playing the national anthem before national(!) football games. International games, ok we did that. But national games? That simply makes no sense to us. Everyone is from the same country, so why the heck play the national anthem?

  • by qbzzt (11136) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:13AM (#39628837)

    Classified research doesn't belong in universities. They aren't equipped to handle information controls. It's that simple.

    But the FBI, of course, needs more money to investigate this issue. When the deficit is sky high and government budgets are likely to be cut, it is very important to shout loudly about the importance of your agency.

  • Yeah and... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:35AM (#39628943) Homepage

    The TSA says that everyone that has a carry on with more than 3oz of liquid is a terrorist.

    So how are we to believe these departments that make crap up to keep the fear machine going?:

  • Re:So it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:52AM (#39629039)

    As ugly and imperfect as the US may be, don't you think its principles and ideals and those of its allies are worth protecting?

    Yes, with a single condition... that US upholds those ideals and principles and not trample them down... The end does NOT justify the means, especially when the means run contrary to the ends.

  • Re:World Responds (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Reservoir Penguin (611789) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @07:56AM (#39629061)
    Nice revisionism. Not so long ago Yugoslavia was bombed by the enlightened Europeans among others for daring to defend it's historic province of Kosovo against KLA Albanian narco-thugs. And prior to that, once the most economically successful and the least authoritarian country of the socialist block it had the best chance for smooth transition to post-soviet era. Yet the West actively encouraged nationalism and disintegration processes.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @08:20AM (#39629197) Journal
    No, the Romans conquered Greece and stole all their academics wholesale. But Greece had the last laugh because all these academics captured by the Romans became tutors who raised the next generation of Roman elite to in the image of Greece. Roman mythology and culture became Greek in all but name only. History can repeat again. All these Chinese academics coached in USA go back with a lot more culture acclimatization than the stolen grains of sand. In the end China might become America in all but name.
  • Re:World Responds (Score:4, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @08:57AM (#39629565) Journal

    Ha ha ha ha.

    "...almost nobody in Europe would so much as contemplate the idea of bombing another European country..."

    I recall reading almost exactly the same sentiment in a book written in about 1906.
    And then again, in a book written in 1931.

    And then considering the genteel, restrained conflict that took place in Europe 1992-1995 (you might remember the RAPE CAMPS?), I'm going to take those genteel protestations of "European Pacifism" with a gigantic grain of salt.

    Europe has had the longest period of interstate peace in its history, MAINLY because of the Cold War (something few Europeans I've met will credit) and the likelihood of nuclear annihilation. It's had very little to do with general Euro-amity.

    Now that the nuclear arsenals of the US and Russians are no longer necessarily hair-triggered on Europe, well, good luck with that European peace.

    Having traveled and worked extensively in Europe and with Europeans for the past 2 decades (British, German, Dutch, Belgian, Swedes, Austrians, and Italians, primarily) I find them generally MORE fundamentally racist in their judgments and assertions than any but the most redneck rural Americans.

  • Re:So it begins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Idarubicin (579475) <> on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @09:02AM (#39629607) Journal

    ...China’s generals are ambitious. The country is on course to become the world’s largest military spender in just 20 years or so.

    So a country with four times the population of the United States may match the U.S.'s military spending two decades from now...shocking.

    Look, what exactly did you think was going to happen when China became a developed country with a modern economy and a fully-educated workforce? They're going to have money to spend. When did not having the absolute most-powerful military become a disaster for the U.S.?

  • Re:So it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATMAvatar (648864) on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @09:08AM (#39629689) Journal

    When did not having the absolute most-powerful military become a disaster for the U.S.?

    Right around the time we decided it was our job to put our fingers into every country's business and to hell with what anyone else thought.

  • Re:So it begins (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @10:43AM (#39630881)

    2 - the more educated you are the greater resistance to the propaganda bullshit that we need the TSA, Homeland security and the PATRIOT ACT. And that is the most dangerous of them all. Someone that can see through bullshit and think for themselves.

    So you're saying that educated people are more resistant to propaganda? That sounds like bullshit. I'd say they're probably even more susceptible to carefully crafted propaganda due to their self-perceived intellectual superiority to the "common" man. For many decades academics have been lapping up every last drop of anti-American propaganda that comes along and then regurgitating it to their students.

  • Re:So it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp&Gmail,com> on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @11:00AM (#39631137) Homepage Journal

    The simple facts:

    China has more people than the USA
    China has more raw materiel than the USA
    China has more money than the USA
    China has more academics than the USA

    This is a no win situation, unless you are China

    China does not have more money than the US. They're not even the number one economy yet (though they're projected by some to be so by 2016). Also, China has a huge problem. While they've made great strides in bettering their economy, out of their 1+ billion people, the vast majority are still poor. I mean really poor, not American Poor with cable TV, cell phones, free school lunch for the kids, and two cars. There's beginning to be some problems with envy among their rural populace. And China has some financial issues in the structure of their economy that could be quite catastrophic, at least in the long term. So yes, China is our biggest potential adversary, but things are not perfect in the Middle Kingdom either, and it's going to get very interesting there.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 10, 2012 @11:24AM (#39631471)

    shows that communism was right: wealth is only being transferred. Upward.

The only thing cheaper than hardware is talk.