Former top CIA official exposes two ethnic groups most susceptible to CIA absorption

James M. Olson, former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) counterintelligence division, warned in an interview that China’s intelligence agencies are carrying out targeted espionage operations using information from social media feeds of foreign students and professionals.

According to Deutsche Welle, Professor Olson, who is currently working in the Department of International Politics at Texas A&M University in the United States, said in a recent interview with the Australian Financial Review that China’s espionage operations against the Western world are in full swing, but many professionals and technicians in Europe and the United States are not vigilant enough, and when sharing information and cooperating with others, they expose information about their experiences in government departments or high-tech fields to the public, which is conducive to China’s subsequent espionage work such as luring or blackmailing.

Olson further noted that China’s current approach is to gather as many candidates as possible who meet its interests, and then keep trying to make contact, saying that Chinese intelligence agencies will share a lot of information with these people “to give these Western experts a sense that there will be job opportunities or cooperation opportunities in the future.

Among the potential professionals, Olson said, overseas Chinese students about to enter the high-tech field and foreign students studying in China are the most likely targets, citing the example of Glenn Duffie Shriver, an American student who was lured by a Chinese spy group to a U.S. government job and provided information to China for a fee of 70,000 U.S. dollars ($2 million) while studying in Shanghai, and who was reportedly arrested in 2010 and sentenced to four years in prison.