Game of Pawns
The FBI has launched an awareness campaign to educate American students of the risks and potential warning signs of recruitment efforts of foreigners to help these students from getting involved in espionage activities by foreign nationals. This may come as a shock to some, but the FBI reports that US students travelling and studying abroad are a high priority for recruitment by foreign intelligence services. Supposedly, these opportunities and educational “experiences provide students with tremendous cultural opportunities and can equip them with specialized language, technical, and leadership skills that make them very marketable to U.S. private industry and government employers.” But it also makes them vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign governments. One thing in common that makes many of them a target is high student loan debt or the general limited financial resources that many college students face.
A recent case centers on Glenn Duffie Shriver. Briefly, Shriver was a student from Virginia who attended college in Michigan. He spent time in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China (PRC) for a study abroad program during his junior year in college. He was the typical boy next door. He participated in a scheme for the PRC to secure a US government job that would grant him access to classified information that would was to share with the PRC in exchange for financial payouts. He didn’t get far and his efforts were soon uncovered. Shriver is one of hundreds of students who end up in trouble for agreeing to betray the United States and work for a foreign government. See the short video for more details of his saga. The video, Game of Pawns, focuses on Shriver’s life and subsequent espionage,
Shriver was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and he has essentially thrown away his career and future employment opportunities. His career opportunities will be quite limited when he is released from prison next year. If there are any students in your life who may be travelling overseas, be sure to have a talk with them about this topic. It happens more often than most people realize. It’s an issue not just for the PRC but for any foreign nation. It can happen to anybody.