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Canada exposed as an enemy nation?

Posted by The Boss on August 18, 2011 in Coins & Paper Money

Question by nestorian: Canada exposed as an enemy nation?
Should we treat them as such?

WASHINGTON - Money talks, but can it also follow your movements?


In a U.S. government warning high on the creepiness scale, the Defense Department cautioned its American contractors over what it described as a new espionage threat: Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.

The government said the mysterious coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

Intelligence and technology experts said such transmitters, if they exist, could be used to surreptitiously track the movements of people carrying the spy coins.

The U.S. report doesn't suggest who might be tracking American defense contractors or why. It also doesn't describe how the Pentagon discovered the ruse, how the transmitters might function or even which Canadian currency contained them.

Further details were secret, according to the U.S. Defense Security Service, which issued the warning to the Pentagon's classified contractors. The government insists the incidents happened, and the risk was genuine.

"What's in the report is true," said Martha Deutscher, a spokeswoman for the security service. "This is indeed a sanitized version, which leaves a lot of questions."

Top suspects, according to outside experts: China, Russia or even France — all said to actively run espionage operations inside Canada with enough sophistication to produce such technology.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it knew nothing about the coins.

"This issue has just come to our attention," CSIS spokeswoman Barbara Campion said. "At this point, we don't know of any basis for these claims." She said Canada's intelligence service works closely with its U.S. counterparts and will seek more information if necessary.

Experts were astonished about the disclosure and the novel tracking technique, but they rejected suggestions Canada's government might be spying on American contractors. The intelligence services of the two countries are extraordinarily close and routinely share sensitive secrets.

"It would seem unthinkable," said David Harris, former chief of strategic planning for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. "I wouldn't expect to see any offensive operation against the Americans."

Harris said likely candidates include foreign spies who targeted Americans abroad or businesses engaged in corporate espionage. "There are certainly a lot of mysterious aspects to this," Harris said.

Experts said such tiny transmitters would almost certainly have limited range to communicate with sensors no more than a few feet away, such as ones hidden inside a doorway. The metal in the coins also could interfere with any signals emitted.

"I'm not aware of any (transmitter) that would fit inside a coin and broadcast for kilometers," said Katherine Albrecht, an activist who believes such technology carries serious privacy risks. "Whoever did this obviously has access to some pretty advanced technology."

Experts said hiding tracking technology inside coins is fraught with risks because the spy's target might inadvertently give away the coin or spend it buying coffee or a newspaper. They agreed, however, that a coin with a hidden tracking device might not arouse suspicion if it were discovered in a pocket or briefcase.

"It wouldn't seem to be the best place to put something like that; you'd want to put it in something that wouldn't be left behind or spent," said Jeff Richelson, a researcher and author of books about the CIA and its gadgets. "It doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense."

Canada's largest coins include its $ 2 "Toonie," which is more than 1-inch across and thick enough to hide a tiny transmitter. The CIA has acknowledged its own spies have used hollow, U.S. silver-dollar coins to hide messages and film.

The government's 29-page report was filled with other espionage warnings. It described unrelated hacker attacks, eavesdropping with miniature pen recorders and the case of a female foreign spy who seduced her American boyfriend to steal his computer passwords.

In another case, a film processing company called the FBI after it developed pictures for a contractor that contained classified images of U.S. satellites and their blueprints. The photo was taken from an adjoining office window.


Best answer:

Answer by dlucf
It could have been (and probably was) China or Russia.

Add your own answer in the comments!

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Reader Reviews

Ohhh well, at least the Americans haven’t found out we hid nuclear bombs under every major intersection in every US city. Let Canada’s world domination begin.

Review written by Dale K on August 18th, 2011 @ 8:09 PM

Wow I would be very worried. You never know what Canada has planned with tiny transmitters that only have a range of a couple KM. They must have spies planted EVERYWHERE.

Oh wait didn’t the article say that the leading suspect were China, Russia, or the dreaded France?

Review written by smedrik on August 18th, 2011 @ 8:41 PM

Perhaps they are just curious ? Canada generally knows whats going on in America, they are our sister country, but, they refused to go to war with us,because they said that the ME cannot be tamed, its hopeless and wasteful.
I doubt it was canadian government, but you never know…….

Review written by Kathy on August 18th, 2011 @ 9:25 PM

Does not seem a very smart way to track someone.

What if he stop at the first coffee shop and spend the coin to buy a cup of coffee…

Review written by Aussies-Online on August 18th, 2011 @ 10:10 PM

We have smart money ! Canada is a good place to invest.
First colourful paper money, now electronic coins ! 😉
Just another item in a long list of Canadian inventions !

Review written by mtl on August 18th, 2011 @ 10:45 PM

Just another stupid thing to keep Americans scared and confused. Why would we want to spy on Americans? They’re the ones who spy and steal from us!

Review written by Christina on August 18th, 2011 @ 11:40 PM

Yep, we are a major threat alright.

Review written by john p on August 19th, 2011 @ 12:03 AM

What a joke ! You have alot more countries that are a threat to you …then Canada who are busy with ourselves to worry about you people .Stop spending your time trying to find a scapegoat to blame all your countries problems on
Americans are the ones who are spys …not Canadians but I guess when you do it all the time your suspicious of others

Review written by u r dumb on August 19th, 2011 @ 12:57 AM

heeheee Way To Go Canada!!!

For all you ‘Mericans… FYI: we have a LOT of spies in your country. It is well known that Pamela Anderson is our top agent. While all the american men are looking at her breasts, she’s gathering information.

Mike Myers is another secret agent, as is Howie Mandel (and he comes with his own entourage of beautiful women with suitcases!).

We are inflitrating your country with beautiful people and bad comedy. Your beloved Saturday Night Live? Canadian. The Arm on the Space Shuttle? Canadian. Basketball? Canadian. Most of the best musicians and actors in the states are actually…. yup, you guessed it, Canadian.

It’s our big plan: silently and secretly infiltrated the USA with agents cloaked as celebreties, give them special coins with tracking devices to distribute into the general population. Once the Americans are sufficiently engaged in the Middle East, we’ll make our surprise attack.

Before you know it, you will all be forced to say “Eh”, drink “Double Doubles” and wear “Toques”.

Haven’t you noticed how we’ve managed to get our national sport into the weirdest places? C’mon…. hockey in Florida, Texas and Arizona? Those teams are all part of our big plan to slowly and silently Canadianize the States!

Review written by pianogal73 on August 19th, 2011 @ 1:29 AM

” It seems there’s no danger of your spare change spying on you after all.
A U.S. government defence agency has suddenly retracted its claim that Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters were planted on at least three American contractors who visited Canada.”

Review written by irish1 on August 19th, 2011 @ 1:47 AM