Our government thinks it may have a plan to stop murmurs of overseas meddling in our affairs, and is mooting the creation of a registration scheme to log the activities of foreign spies working in the UK.
The idea’s been promoted by transport secretary Grant Shapps, who said powers to restrict the activities of enemy states: “…may include introducing new laws, which I think could be very relevant in this case, working with sort of like-minded international partners on something like the foreign agent registration laws that exist, for example, in the US and in Australia.”
We looked it up to see if it’s true about the US having a registration scheme seeing as this is something a member of the UK government claimed, and it does indeed seem that the US operates under a Foreign Agents Registration Act, requiring those engaging in various “political activities” to disclose their workings and relationships with other states.
Surely this would only mean there’d be official spies, people on the list who sit in coffee shops making pretend phone calls and writing meaningless notes as cover, then a new strata of unofficial spies not on the list, free to carry on as usual, but with more urgency not to get caught? [Bloomberg]
Image credit: Unsplash
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