The Federal Bureau of Investigation has some serious concerns about American college students who are studying overseas being recruited by evildoers as spies.
The FBI actually put out a PSA video called “Game of Pawns” that tells the story of an American college student recruited by the Chinese government to do some spying on his homeland for them. It’s based on the true story of Glenn Shriver, a student studying in China who took $70,000 from Chinese intelligence officials in exchange for classified government documents. Shriver was seeking several opportunities with the CIA and other government agencies and promised Chinese officials he would send them classified documents in exchange for cash. He almost made it through to the final security clearance until an agent somehow “discovered” what was he was to during the hiring process. He got 48 months in federal prison…
Right now, the FBI is holding orientations and training programs for students traveling to certain countries to make sure they know how to handle themselves if someone tries to recruit them. The FBI hasn’t said if other students have been approached or recruited to commit similar activities or why there is a sudden rise in interest and concern about exchange students.
Plus, should we really be concerned? College students can’t be very good at the spy game, especially if they are in a foreign land. If we were studying abroad, we would just be drunk all the time and the last thing we’d be good at is hiding sensitive documents in a “sensitive” place. Even if we did, we probably wouldn’t remember what we did with them. So unless there are some secret weapons plans at the Pentagon that involve doing keg stands, we’ll probably be OK.