'Whole-of-society approach': Trump releases plan to fight spies from Russia, China, and other countries

“The nation faces an expanding array of foreign intelligence threats by adversaries who are using increasingly sophisticated methods to harm the United States,” President Trump said when signing the public strategy in January, naming two countries in particular. “Russia remains a significant intelligence threat to United States interests, employing aggressive acts to instigate and exacerbate tensions and instability in the United States, including interfering with the security of our elections. A more powerful and emboldened China is increasingly asserting itself by stealing our technology and intellectual property in an effort to erode United States economic and military superiority.” 

Earlier on Monday, Attorney General William Barr announced indictments against Chinese military hackers involved in an Equifax data breach, which stole information from nearly half of all Americans, calling this just one example of “China’s voracious appetite for the personal data of Americans.” 

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that “the Russians continue to engage in malign foreign influence efforts” using social media disinformation efforts and state-sponsored media and that, “just like any sophisticated actor, they continue to refine their approach.” 

“The number of actors targeting the United States is growing,” William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said in releasing the 11-page national security blueprint. “Other state adversaries such as Cuba, Iran, and North Korea; nonstate actors such as Lebanese Hezbollah, ISIS, and al Qaeda; as well as transnational criminal organizations and ideologically motivated entities such as hacktivists, leaktivists, and public disclosure organizations also pose significant threats.”

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