‘Russia’s anti US intelligence operations at Cold War level’

By RIA Novosti

Washington : Russia’s foreign intelligence operations against America are currently at the same level as during the Cold War, the US national intelligence chief has said.

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Michael McConnell said Tuesday that Russia and China are the most aggressive countries at gathering information about American sensitive technologies, including projects under development and the scale of their intelligence activities is at Cold War levels.

Last month McConnell, who assumed his current post in February, circulated a draft bill allowing the US government to expand its powers under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that could include planting listening devices and hidden cameras, as well as breaking into houses to make copies of computer hard drives.

Relations between Russia and the US soured after America announced plans to deploy elements of its missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland, to counter possible attacks from Iran or North Korea.

Russia, which has been anxious about NATO bases that have appeared in former Communist-bloc countries and ex-Soviet republics, considers the plans to deploy anti-missile systems in Central Europe a national security threat and a destabilizing factor for Europe.