When mandatory spying, like mandatory military training is imposed on a country’s citizens, it has a direct impact on foreign countries and potentially the balance of power in the world. This coupled with the fact that espionage is not conceptualised internationally as an Act of War for example, the recent tremendous U.S. government breach of information by Russian intelligence services, suggests that how we interpret the infiltration of sensitive systems and stealing crucial secrets needs revisiting.
Although Russia continues to be a cyber threat, in a recent article, Goldie Goldbloom reports that half of all U.S. counterintelligence cases are focused on China with a new case opening every 10 hours. China is proving to be the greatest threat to scientific and technological information as it expects every citizen, whether at home or abroad, to spy when asked and pressure may be applied by threatening loved ones.
Not only does China have highly trained agents and code breakers, but they are also tapping into any citizen who is in a position to collect intelligence. These individuals may be recruited in person or online from technology, business, university settings and research labs. Also, there are reportedly 146 Chinese talent recruitment offices in the U.S. which also focuses on American citizens. Contracts have ensued with over 7000 STEM researchers. Goldbloom states that money is the number one reason American citizens offer up intel on their own country along with blackmail and ideology.