Tags: China | china | cyberattacks | britain | MI-5

MI5 Chief: Britain Looking to Do More to Tackle China Threat

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 08:57 AM

The head of MI5 said the U.K.’s domestic spy agency wants to “do more” to tackle Chinese activities that threaten the intellectual property of British companies and universities.

In his first public remarks since taking on the role in May, Ken McCallum said he will “carefully” prioritize the agency’s resources against China’s “covert activities.” He also told reporters on Wednesday he wants the U.K. to be able to intervene earlier when risks to critical national infrastructure are spotted -- before the government if forced to use a “sledgehammer” in a crisis.

McCallum was speaking as the government drafts a new National Security and Investment Bill, which is expected to be published this month and cover deals in sectors such as defense and critical infrastructure, and will make provisions to protect sensitive intellectual property.

Read more: U.K. Plans New Law to Undo Foreign Deals on Security Grounds

People familiar with the plans say the Boris Johnson’s government is planning to give ministers the power to unravel foreign investments in U.K. companies -- potentially casting doubt on deals that have already been concluded -- to stop hostile states gaining control of key assets.

“The U.K. wants to cooperate with China on the big global issues like climate change, while at the same time being robust in confronting covert hostile activity when we come across it,” he said. McCallum, who has been an undercover agent for 24 years, is now the public face of the agency.

McCallum also called for a register of foreign agents in the U.K. to match the “kind of provision that exists in the U.S. and Australia” to “enable you to fight in that sort of interference and influence which is distinct from the espionage risk.”

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The head of MI5 said the U.K.'s domestic spy agency wants to "do more" to tackle Chinese activities that threaten the intellectual property of British companies and universities.In his first public remarks since taking on the role in May, Ken McCallum said he will...
china, cyberattacks, britain, MI-5
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2020-57-14
Wednesday, 14 October 2020 08:57 AM
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