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Ministerier og forsvarsvirksomheder som Terma og Saab var mål for amerikansk spionage, ifølge en whistleblower-rapport.

Den amerikanske efterretningstjeneste NSA har brugt et tophemmeligt dansk-amerikansk spionagesamarbejde til målrettet at udspionere nøgleministerier og private virksomheder i Danmark og andre skandinaviske lande, rapporterede Dansk Radio med henvisning til en strengt fortrolig rapport lavet af en intern whistleblower inden for forsvarets efterretningstjeneste ( FE).

Rapporten advarede blandt andet FE's ledelse om mulige ulovligheder i efterretningssamarbejde om at dræne danske internetkabler med information. Rapporten afslørede også spioneringsforsøg mod Danmarks finans- og udenrigsministerier samt landets nærmeste naboer og allierede, Norge og Sverige.

Kommentar: Delvist oversat af fra US spied on Scandinavian countries, defence industries, report says

The NSA gained access to fibre optic cables and a data centre on the island of Amager south of Copenhagen. From there, Dutch, Norwegian, French, and German data traffic, and Danish political institutions were monitored.

A source also mentioned that the NSA wanted to "nose out [Aarhus-based defence company] Terma prior to Denmark's purchase of new fighter jets", when Denmark decided on the multibillion purchase of new fighter jets to replace its ageing fleet of F-16s. In the fighter jet tender, Swedish defence company Saab was one of the contenders. After a heated debate with many controversies, the Danish government eventually settled on 27 US F-35 fighter jets.

After several failed attempts to draw the management's attention to the problem, the whistleblower alerted FE's supervisory authority, TET. According to TET, the FE's management "failed to follow up or further investigate indications of espionage". Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen later sacked five people in the FE leadership.

Giving the NSA access to information cables or otherwise making it possible to spy on key Danish institutions and the defence industry is clearly contrary to the country's interests, experts underscored.

"It is basically shocking, because the authority that was supposed to protect Denmark helped undermine the security of Denmark's vital interests", Jens Elo Rytter, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Copenhagen, told Danish Radio.

"According to Danish law, a foreign intelligence service mustn't of course spy on Denmark in the way that gains insight into military information or politically sensitive information", Jørn Vestergaard, a professor emeritus in Criminal Law at the University of Copenhagen, said.

The revelation made news among Denmark's neighbours as well.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the US spied on Norwegian targets, as we know they have done so against allied countries' heads of government before", Norwegian MP Freddy André Øvstegård of the Socialist Left Party said. "Still, it is very serious if true, especially since it seems to have happened in collaboration with the Danes and targeted the most expensive public procurement in Norway - the new fighter jets", he added.

According to Danish Radio, the NSA utilised the Amager data centre with its XKeyscore system, revealed in 2013 by Edward Snowden, and which is a central function in the NSA's entire interception apparatus. The programme makes it possible to go through large amounts of data in fibre cables with the help of "selectors", keywords such as names of people in a central position in interesting organisations.