The FBI has released a half-hour film about the possible dangers of studying abroad: Namely, that shadowy foreign agents will turn you in a traitor. Specifically, the film dramatizes the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, a real life person, who took money from Chinese government officials while studying in Shanghai ten years ago. Complete with a generically "Eastern" sounding soundtrack and straight-up opening with the line "there is an old Chinese proverb..." the film has not exactly received rave reviews.
Here it is. Title? Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story
And yes, as the National Journal pointed out, what's depicted as "Shanghai" here is almost certainly downtown Washington D.C. Not a huge budget for location shooting.
The FBI hopes this film will illuminate the notion that study abroad students are "vulnerable targets for recruitment by foreign intelligence officers whose long-term goal is to gain access to sensitive or classified U.S. information," like apparently Shriver was. Ultimately, in 2010 he was sentenced to four years in prison for “conspiring to provide national defense information to intelligence officers of the People’s Republic of China.” He took $70,000 from Chinese official in exchange for continuing to apply for government jobs, although he didn't pass along sensitive information to China at the time of his arrest.
If you want to know more about Shriver's case, minus the FBI's video production skills, we recommend this 2012 Washingtonian profile of the former student. And if you want to know more about how to betray your country ... just don't.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.