While European leaders have vented anger over revelations of US spying, both Norway and Denmark reportedly have been helping the US with its surveillance operations. New documents revealed by The Guardian newspaper indicate Norway and Denmark have played central roles in monitoring data and telecommunications.
It’s long been presumed that major radar installations in northern Norway are used by the US in their surveillance efforts. Now the latest release of classified documents distributed by whistleblower Edward Snowden via The Guardian show that Norwegian installations have served as important listening posts for the US’ controversial National Security Agency (NSA).
So have France and the Netherlands, even though French President Francois Hollande has been among those furious that he and millions of other French citizens have been targets of the US’ surveillance. Reports that the mobile phones of German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been monitored have led to a diplomatic crisis between Germany and the US and between the EU and the US.
New Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also has expressed concern, noting last week that “I don’t think that allies and friends should spy on each other.” Solberg also has worried about Swedish surveillance operations that can extend over the border to Norway.
The US reportedly has ranked various countries given their degrees of cooperation, with Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand said to be the most important in the US’ intelligence-gathering efforts. They share raw data, financing, technical systems and even personnel.
Norway and Denmark also have ranked highly, however, while Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Sweden reportedly have lower status as spying partners. Norwegian politicians, however, haven’t been willing to hand over raw data without their own experts first analyzing it themselves.
Great Britain has emerged as the most important partner for the US in its intelligence gathering through NSA’s counterpart in the UK, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). News bureau NTB reported that documents leaked by Snowden show how GCHQ taps into data traffic between Europe and the US, allowing NSA to monitor as much as 90 percent of all such communications over the Atlantic.