Dead Drop: September 7

THE GREAT NETWORK OF CHINA: William Evanina, the U.S. counter-intelligence chief, told Reuters late last week that Chinese espionage agencies are using fake LinkedIn accounts to connect with Americans who may have access to classified information. Apparently, Beijing is creating bucket loads of bogus personas in an effort to link up with folks who might unwittingly share sensitive information, perhaps in hopes of landing a better job. Evanina noted that Twitter has recently taken down millions of fake accounts – but LinkedIn said they had taken down “less than 40” fake accounts.

WHERE YOU STAND ON JOHN BRENNAN, MAY DEPEND ON WHERE YOU SIT: Make no mistake, former CIA Director John Brennan inspires some strong opinions.  As previously mentioned – several hundred former senior officials recently signed open letters supporting Brennan’s right to express his views about the President without having his security clearance removed (it should be noted that not all of those signing the letters agreed with Brennan’s views – but they supported his right to express them.)  Last week, Brennan received a rapturous reception from the studio audience when he appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher show. Again, not all of those who reviewed the appearance agreed with those sentiments.  Who was most dismissive? We’re going to go with Vladimir Putin’s RT which headlined their story about Brennan’s appearance on the show: “In fit of anti-Trump pique, American liberals shamelessly embrace ‘deep-state’ criminals.” We’ll put them down as “undecided.”

“The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief’s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+ Member.