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Beware LinkedIn, Playground of Spies

Beware of the next garbled request to connect


Beware LinkedIn, Playground of Spies

“We are an international headhunter company, your profile attracted me. One of our partner in China looking for a freelancer researcher, helping them write some papers they will pay 1500-3000 USD for 6-10 pages. Contact me if you are interested.”

In receipt of the error-strewn message on LinkedIn was Sam Armstrong, communications director of the Henry Jackson Society, an influential London think tank (often featured in these pages) that is critical of Beijing.

According to an account in the Spectator, the suspiciously unprofessional wording and offer of high pay from a “Mr. Zha” was actually just one more example of China’s aggressive attempt to recruit influencers across Britain.

As part of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s drive to push his country to world leadership in all areas, China has engaged in industrial-scale espionage operations to hoover up the West’s technological secrets. In parallel has been a push to recruit mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party.

With the kind of academics and professionals that China is eager to court, LinkedIn has become a prime target for Beijing’s men. According to the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, part of the MI5 intelligence agency, foreign spies have used LinkedIn to target 10,000 officials in the UK and abroad who have access to sensitive information.

All of which means that LinkedIn, about as innocuous — and indeed heimish — a social-media venue as it’s possible to conceive — is in reality the new playground for spies.

So beware of the next garbled request to connect: it may not be Cohen from the next neighborhood, but Chan from the Ministry of State Security.

—Gedalia Guttentag



The seven-day average of daily COVID-19 deaths in France, a soberingly high figure given that next door in the UK, with an equivalent population, the number is 16.

Another set of data underlines the gulf. Whereas in the UK, over 50% of the population has had at least one vaccine dose, in France, where the rollout has been plagued by anti-vaxxer sentiment and official caution, only 22% have had the vaccine.

Sources: Worldometers, Politico


In a word

“Together in pain, together in hope”

In times of crisis, Israel — a country normally riven by factionalism — comes together, as Telz Stone council head Yitzchak Ravitz told Sivan Rahav-Meir, a religious TV anchor.

“Yesterday residents from Neveh Ilan, the secular moshav next door, came and hung this handwritten sign. By the time I came out, they’d gone — so whoever you are, thank you so much.”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 859)

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