• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Surveillance cooperation with US goes back years

The Local · 30 Jun 2014, 12:28

Published: 30 Jun 2014 12:28 GMT+02:00

Denmark’s cooperation with the US intelligence agency NSA goes back to the 1990s, newly-obtained documents have revealed. 
 
Through a freedom of information request, Danmarks Radio obtained internal government documents dating from 1998-2000 that showed the Americans put “significant pressure” on Denmark to change its laws to allow the surveillance of communication lest it fall out of an inner circle of information-sharing countries. 
 
The new documents corroborate information provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that revealed that the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste) collaborated with the American NSA to tap undersea internet cables. They also reveal that the partnership goes back further than previously known. 
 
“The papers confirm the picture of the cooperation existing and having existed for many years,” Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, a former director of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (Politiets Efterretningstjeneste), told DR.
 
The documents also reveal that FE received technical assistance from the US in breaking encryption and monitoring communications and that Denmark was threatened with being excluded from the US’s inner circle of allies if it didn’t change its encryption laws. 
 
“The USA’s chief negotiator within the encryption area contacted the Danish defence ministry and stated that the Danish position needed to be changed in a more restrictive direction that puts a greater focus on security concerns by giving better possibilities for monitoring encrypted communications,” part of a document obtained from the defence ministry read. “Without accommodating [the Americans’ request], Denmark should not expect to remain ‘in good company’. That could result in a loss of specific benefits to Denmark in other security areas.”
 
Denmark caved in to the Americans’ request. 
 
Story continues below…
“It was no secret that we were in a category that meant we shared information on a higher level than countries that the US trusted less,” Jørgen Rosted, a former business ministry official, told DR. “What they threatened us with was that we would go down to a lower level where there was less sensitive information.”
 
Snowden documents released by the Guardian last year revealed that Denmark is one of the NSA’s ‘Nine Eyes’, an inner circle of countries that collaborate closely with the US intelligence agency. 
 
The Nine Eyes group includes Denmark, Norway, France and the Netherlands in addition to the original ‘Five Eyes’ countries of the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.  

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Apple to fund biogas research in Denmark
Apple's sales director for northern Europe, Erik Stannow, presented plans and models for Apple's new data centre in Foulum on Friday. Photo: Henning Bagger/Scanpix

American computer giant Apple and Aarhus University will team up to turn agricultural waste into electricity.

Foreigner sues Denmark over 'flimsy' terror charge
Photo: Colourbox

A 32-year-old man who was held for two months before being having all charges against him dropped has sued the Danish state for restitution.

Cannabis stash found in Copenhagen Opera House

Some 75 kilos were discovered in a rather unusual place.

Denmark pays for Panama Papers data on own citizens
Skat justified the purchase by saying it needed to crack down on tax evaders. Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix

Anonymous source given six million kroner.

Novo Nordisk to cut 500 jobs in Denmark, 1,000 overall
Around half of the cuts will be in Denmark. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

Historic firing round for the diabetes medicine giant.

Danish nationalists' 'refugee spray' draws ire
The Danes' Party's spray evoked strong feelings at home and criticism from abroad. Photo: Daniel Carlsen/ Danskernes Parti

A Danish far-right group faced criticism on Wednesday after courting criticism by handing out "asylum spray" to be used against violent migrants.

Denmark falls in international student satisfaction rank
DTU was once again named the best university in Denmark. Photo: NewsOresund/Flickr

UPDATED: Nordic nations once again dominated the annual International Student Satisfaction Awards.

New Copenhagen project will 'try to change the world'
Martin Kæstel and Anja Müller are the driving forces behind think.dk. Photo: Melanie Haynes

A new project based in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro was launched this week to give sustainability proponents power in numbers.

Denmark reverses course on refugee ‘child brides’
An unspecified number of married couples have been reunited in Danish asylum centres. File photo: Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix

Married couples will be allowed to live together in Danish asylum centres even if one party is underage.

Copenhagen tour boat fined over girl’s amputated arm
The tour operator said it had followed all of the rules and the accident is the only one of its kind in 25 years. Photo: Colourbox

Tour boat operator Netto-Bådene was ordered on Tuesday to pay 50,000 kroner for an accident in which a 10-year-old girl had her arm smashed.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
2,230
jobs available