China adds broad new definitions to counter-espionage law

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s cabinet on Wednesday released broad new definitions of conduct punishable under its three-year-old counter-espionage law, as China seeks to bolster its defence against threats to national security and social stability.

Over five years, President Xi Jinping has ushered in a flurry of new state security legislation to defend China from perceived threats both inside and outside its borders.

Rights groups and foreign governments have criticised the national security laws as being written in such a way to allow the party state to target activists or dissidents who challenge the Communist Party or call for political reform.

In new regulations on implementing a counter-espionage law first adopted in 2014, China’s state council expanded on the legislation to clarify, for example, that collusion involves any form of contact or assistance with groups that harm China’s national security.

The rules include behaviour, such as using religion or cults to harm national security, that go beyond standard definitions of espionage, namely the practise of obtaining information about a foreign government by spying.

The state council rules say that “hostile groups” include any groups that challenge the power of the Chinese Communist Party or the “socialist system”.

Foreign individuals or groups who fabricate or distort facts and issue information that harms China’s national security can be punished, as can people who do not listen to advice and meet individuals that harm national security, according to the new regulations.

The government can block foreign individuals suspected of endangering national security from entering China, and Chinese nationals suspected of “betraying the motherland” can be detained, they say.

Foreign individuals who are expected of spying can be prevented from leaving China for a “fixed” period, while those expelled for the same charges can be banned for ten years.

The rules come into effect immediately.

Reporting by Christian Shepherd, Michael Martina and Beijing newsroom


Voyeur who hid camera in Starbucks toilet convicted after accidentally filming his face

Dines was reported to police by his co-workers after pictures of the 31-year-old hiding a camera were obtained by detectives.

Anthony Dines has been sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work

A man has been convicted of voyeurism after accidentally filming himself installing a hidden camera in a toilet of a London coffee shop.

Anthony Dines placed the tiny device in a ceiling grate at a Starbucks in Vauxhall, south London, where it remained for up to four weeks before being spotted by a male member of the public.

He was reported to police by his co-workers after detectives issued a public appeal with pictures of the 31-year-old slotting the camera into the grate.

After his arrest, Dines admitted installing a similar device in the toilets of his employer’s offices in New Malden, southwest London.

Further mini cameras and memory cards were found at his home address, as well as a screwdriver.

Dines pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism relating to the Starbucks camera and two similar charges relating to the camera at his place of work.

He was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and banned from living in a house with children under the age of 18 during that period.

Dines must also pay £170 in court costs and victim surcharges and complete a 30-day rehabilitation requirement.

His employer, legal firm Lyons Davidson, said in a statement: “The crimes committed by Anthony Dines have caused significant concern and distress to some of our people.”

“His admission and subsequent sentencing will be of little comfort to these people.

“We continue to do all we can to support them. Anthony is no longer in our employment.”

Source: SkyNEWS

Nurse given 2-year suspended sentence after hiding camera in U of A Hospital gym shower

A nurse who admitted to hiding a camera in a staff gym shower at University of Alberta Hospital received a two-year suspended sentence on Tuesday. He’s also prohibited from having a recording device.

Jason Soundara, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of voyeurism in June.

A suspended sentence means the defendant will serve a period of probation and have a criminal record, but won’t serve jail time.

The sentence means Soundara must remain in Alberta, attend counselling and cannot go to the University of Alberta Hospital. He’s allowed to own a smartphone but cannot use it to take photos or videos.

The Crown was seeking six months in custody and two years of probation. Crown prosecutor Marisa Anderson argued the act showed a high degree of planning and deliberation and was “predatory” in nature. She said the sentencing should send a strong message in this digital age.

The defence was seeking a two-year probation with no time behind bars. Defence lawyer Dan Nagase said the sentence should take into account this was not a public change room. Nagase argued the act was not thought out, naive and unsophisticated. Nagase said Soudara has sought out counselling and the incident happened during a difficult time in his life when he was struggling with his sexual orientation.

In November 2016, a notice was posted by management of The Pulse Generator at the University of Alberta Hospital Employee Fitness and Recreation Centre, stating a camera was in place from Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. until Nov. 28 at 9 a.m., when it was discovered and removed. In that 16-hour window, seven men were captured on the camera.

In an agreed statement of facts, Soundara admitted to putting the camera in the male locker room shower. In a videotaped interview with police, Soundara said he did it “because he liked one of the males who frequently showers in the facility.”
The statement said the camera installed looked like a wall outlet and was stuck to the wall underneath a soap dispenser; it contained a five-day rechargeable battery with an SD card to store video.

The camera was discovered by a man in the shower; it was turned over to hospital security and then Edmonton police.

Soundara was supposed to be sentenced in September but the decision was delayed.

Soundara worked as a nurse at the hospital emergency room at the time. An Alberta Health Services spokesperson said he is no longer an AHS employee.

Pulse Generator operates employee fitness centres at the U of A, Grey Nuns and Misericordia hospitals. Security measures were increased after the incident.

— With files from Global’s Kim Smith, Julia Wong and Karen Bartko

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

By Emily Mertz

Web Producer  Global News

Source: Global NEWS