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Canadian spy agency says foreign interference hit Cold War levels during 2020 pandemic

Canadian spy agency says foreign interference hit Cold War levels during 2020 pandemic
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A Canadian spy agency said on Monday that foreign interference in 2020 reached levels equivalent to those seen during the Cold War.

"In 2020, [Canadian Security Intelligence Service] CSIS observed espionage and foreign interference activity at levels not seen since the Cold War," CSIS, the country's main spy agency, said in its annual report, according to CNN.

The agency also noted that the coronavirus pandemic allowed for vulnerabilities due to many people working from home. It stated that national security threats such as malicious cyber activity, violent extremism and foreign interference "in many ways became much more serious for Canadians" within the past year, the outlet noted.

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CSIS's report reflected the country's latest focus on Russia and China as threats to national security.

"Foreign threat actors — including hostile intelligence services and those working on their behalf — have sought to exploit the social and economic conditions created by the pandemic" to gather valuable information, the report stated, CNN reported. "China, Russia, and other foreign states continued to covertly gather political, economic, and military information in Canada through targeted threat activities in support of their own state development goals."