Red Flags

Red Flags

2019, Society  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 7.06/10 from 32 users.

For several years, Australia's security agencies have warned the country's universities about the potential for foreign interference. Behind closed doors, they even name their chief culprit: Beijing. Why would the Chinese have an interest in infiltrating Australian universities, and what could these acts of espionage mean for the integrity of the educational system and national security in general? ABC News' Four Corners series investigates in Red Flags.

It began nearly two decades ago with a scheme that was only recently uncovered. It was found that hackers had been preying upon students and staff by taking advantage of security loopholes in the academic networks. The operation was clearly well organized and funded. But this was no simple breach involving credit card accounts or identity theft. Australian National University has graduated thousands of students who have gone on to work in the national security sector. What if these hackers collected compromising information on some of these students, and plan to use the materials for blackmail purposes? It is suspected that the Chinese Communist Party could very well be behind these cyber attacks.

The story doesn't end there. Australian universities receive significant sums of money from China both through tuition fees and collaborative research projects. Groups like the Chinese Students and Scholars Association have made it their mission to enlist the services of students to expand their communist influence across campuses. Student protests have erupted at multiple universities, and are often reduced to volatile clashes between pro and anti-Beijing demonstrators.

These elements create the impression of conflicts of interest. How far can their sphere of influence expand before the universities relinquish their autonomy?

The film features interviews with a variety of security experts, university representatives, and members of the student body. Some of these students feel unfairly targeted by the media, who they believe are quick to accuse students of carrying out spy work on behalf of the Chinese communist regime.

Red Flags expertly outlines a complicated system of high espionage. The film also serves a stark warning to university administrators and government regulators who have been lax in their response to these potential threats.

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David Dieni
David Dieni
2 years ago

The Chinese lads who have posted here....have got it right

Indoctrinated and infantile
We swallow every insane lie
As denial, blind hope and optimism
Hold up walls that are our prison

Data stats, who needs all that?
They're just a bunch of useless facts
That only make me feel uneasy
A little sick, a little queasy

Its the migrants, no, it's the Jews
So many scapegoats, now which to choose?
And don't forget the Neo-Marxists
Hiding at home in your bread baskets

Now I haven't studied history
Or any political economy,
Don't know shit about psychology
Or the development of society
I haven't studied anything at all
No diplomas hang upon the wall
But I know all that there is to know
Because Jordan Peterson told me so
Now I'm registered with Jobster
Looking for work as a lobster

Hold on tight, we're going down
Slavish fools to knaves and clowns
No ,money left for the sick and poor
Its all been spent on endless war
And edumacation who needs that
When its all downloadable on an app?

Faster than the world's revolving
Humanity is fast devolving
While good old Donald is no ones hero
Why, he's a fiddler just like Nero
Can't believe it's come to this
My god we're bloody idiots

3 years ago

I never see Chinese university allowing their students to complain or protest if those Chinese students love their country so much why are they continually finding educational opportunities elsewhere.

4 years ago

In ~58 years we will declassify the moment everyone was almost vaporized, by a mistake, that almost started a thermonuclear exchange. A thermonuclear exchange would render the entire planet a desert forever. That time we were very, very lucky, as lucky as you can get. We will not get that lucky again if that same scenario were to occur.

Our governments had considerably more responsible and informed figures back then than the fools we have now, plus ratified treaties since discarded. Currently we are ramping up production, rebuilding stockpiles, and producing smaller, more deadly systems that are faster to fire and impossible to intercept. It was partly the longer time to launch that saved us last time, but mostly dumb luck.

4 years ago

instill the seed of fear and watch it grow.

4 years ago

Wow. I had no idea. This was very enlightening. I take everything with a grain of salt, but even with the salt, food for thought. Certainly not a waste of time to watch it.

peter ogden
peter ogden
4 years ago

too bad american college students don't defend their country as vehemently; the communist chinese no doubt are one of the subversive anti-american groups that has infiltrated american universities and brainwashed millions of american university students to hate america.

jez hewitt
jez hewitt
4 years ago

university is the best place for an ill-meaning heinous organisation to expand their
staff base. the skull n bones is the easiest example...

4 years ago

" agencies..."
"...the Chinese communist regime..."
"...stark warning..."
...!!!...the above write-up is the most stunningly tendentious I have ever read here...Australia, 18 million people – owned by the United States of America...and clearly the most honorable, decent, good-hearted and well-meaning "nation" on the planet – a paragon of ethical and moral rectitude in the world, evidenced by years or decades of slavish adherence to the whims of Anglo-Zionist thugs and political criminals...
Not to mention the warm, caring and passionate treatment of its own citizens, especially Julian Assange, now slowly being murdered by Australia's "friends and allies"...