Military security service in troubled waters / News / The Foreigner

Military security service in troubled waters. Possible incidents of illegal surveillance uncovered. Before Christmas last year, as a result of an increase in cyber-crime and several organised attempts at hacking, fraud, spying, and sabotage the Defence Minister, Anne-Grethe Strøm-Erichsen, gave employees in the Norwegian military’s counter-intelligence unit (FOST) the task of broadening security checks of both the civil and military computer networks, according to Aftenposten. Exceeded their mandate Last Wednesday the unit became involved in a scandal about suspected unauthorised surveillance of prime-minister Jens Stoltenberg, the government departments, and the Royal Palace. It is now under investigation by the police’s criminal section (KRIPOS), after they were contacted by Strøm-Erichsen herself.

fost, kripos, jens, stoltenberg, anne-grethe, stroem-erichsen, department, minister, ministry, defence, police, criminal, hacking, fraud, cycber-crime, spying, sabotage, surveillance, tv2



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Military security service in troubled waters

Published on Sunday, 14th June, 2009 at 23:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Possible incidents of illegal surveillance uncovered.

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Threat of attack

Before Christmas last year, as a result of an increase in cyber-crime and several organised attempts at hacking, fraud, spying, and sabotage the Defence Minister, Anne-Grethe Strøm-Erichsen, gave employees in the Norwegian military’s counter-intelligence unit (FOST) the task of broadening security checks of both the civil and military computer networks, according to Aftenposten.

Exceeded their mandate

Last Wednesday the unit became involved in a scandal about suspected unauthorised surveillance of prime-minister Jens Stoltenberg, the government departments, and the Royal Palace. It is now under investigation by the police’s criminal section (KRIPOS), after they were contacted by Strøm-Erichsen herself.

Aftenposten writes that security personnel based at the unit have informed both an employee in the Department of Justice and someone at the Palace that these people have visited Internet pages that could be a threat to national security. The information was uncovered during a routine security exercise. It is how this information has been obtained that has caused the scandal.

Surprise

According to TV2.no the reason for involving KRIPOS was due to the seriousness of what had happened. The station goes on to write that the fact surveillance was carried out came as a surprise to the Ministry of Defence. They first became aware of the incident after the counter-intelligence unit themselves chose to contact them, and then only after TV2 had asked them about it.

Declined to comment fully

The public prosecutor Petter Mandt, confirmed on Wednesday that an ongoing investigation was taking place at the unit’s data security facility at Jørstadmoen in Lillehammer.

“I can confirm that police have made inquiries today and that the matter is being investigated by KRIPOS. More than that I do not wish to say”, Mandt informed TV2.

The prime-minister’s office was equally cautious in their comments.

“The Defence Department has asked the police to look into whether or not anything illegal has taken place...There isn’t much more to say until they have made the results of their investigations public”, Secretary of State Torbjørn Giæver Eriksen told VG Nett.

Espen Barth Eide, Secretary of State at the Defence Department has since told Aftenposten that the possibility of clandestine surveillance of the prime-minister has now been ruled out. This is because communication lines between Stoltenberg’s office and the Department are encrypted in such a way that it is not possible for FOST to access.

The imbroglio continues.



Published on Sunday, 14th June, 2009 at 23:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: fost, kripos, jens, stoltenberg, anne-grethe, stroem-erichsen, department, minister, ministry, defence, police, criminal, hacking, fraud, cycber-crime, spying, sabotage, surveillance, tv2.





  
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