Spy Ca­bles ex­pose South Africa’s alarm­ing se­cu­rity fail­ings


The South African Gov­ern­ment and se­cu­rity agen­cies have left se­crets ex­posed at ev­ery level and for­eign spies have ac­cess to all ar­eas of gov­ern­ment, ac­cord­ing to the in­tel­li­gence doc­u­ments ob­tained by Al Jazeera’s In­ves­tiga­tive Unit.

A se­cret se­cu­rity as­sess­ment by South African in­tel­li­gence says for­eign es­pi­onage is boom­ing, with more than 140 for­eign spies es­ti­mated to be op­er­at­ing in South Africa—and that the South African state is do­ing a poor job of pro­tect­ing it­self. They are thought to have gained ac­cess to gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, min­istries and ‘even the pres­i­dency’ and are sus­pected of break­ing into nu­clear power plants, steal­ing mil­i­tary blue­prints and hack­ing com­put­ers.

The re­port slams poor se­cu­rity aware­ness among civil ser­vants, who regularly fail­ing to ob­serve the most ba­sic pro­ce­dures, leav­ing clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion un­locked and fail­ing to ad­e­quately vet new re­cruits. In some cases South African cit­i­zens, diplo­mats and civil ser­vants are help­ing for­eign spies “by un­wit­tingly pro­vid­ing them with clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion or by al­low­ing them ac­cess to re­stricted ar­eas.”

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