Spying by Norway on the increase / News / The Foreigner

Spying by Norway on the increase. Norway is currently engaged in spying in at least eight countries. Lieutenant-General Kjell Grandhagen, recently-appointed head of the intelligence service, says the scope of electronic surveillance is constantly expanding. The government has increased electronic intelligence service funding by 35 percent in the last five years. 930 million kroner is now spent annually. The number of assignments has increased by more than 400 percent since 2003. “Developments in the last few years have been characterised by an ever-increasing breadth of tasks for the intelligence service. The number of clients and scope of individual missions have together resulted in an ever-increasing workload for the electronic surveillance service section,” Lt-Gen Grandhagen tells Aftenposten.

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Spying by Norway on the increase

Published on Tuesday, 22nd June, 2010 at 15:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Norway is currently engaged in spying in at least eight countries. Lieutenant-General Kjell Grandhagen, recently-appointed head of the intelligence service, says the scope of electronic surveillance is constantly expanding.

Globus II used by Norwegian Intell Svc.
Globus II used by Norwegian Intell Svc.
Photo: US Air Force/Wikimedia Commons


Multiple regions and tasks

The government has increased electronic intelligence service funding by 35 percent in the last five years. 930 million kroner is now spent annually. The number of assignments has increased by more than 400 percent since 2003.

“Developments in the last few years have been characterised by an ever-increasing breadth of tasks for the intelligence service. The number of clients and scope of individual missions have together resulted in an ever-increasing workload for the electronic surveillance service section,” Lt-Gen Grandhagen tells Aftenposten.

The intelligence service is currently operating in Afghanistan, Somalia, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Sudan, Congo, the Middle East, Kosovo, and Bosnia.

These are all countries and regions where Norwegian officers and soldiers are stationed, with one of the military’s trademarks being the integration of electronic surveillance when using Special Forces.

McCarthyism?

Kjell Grandhagen
Kjell Grandhagen
Torgeir Haugaard/Norwegian military
Norway hasn’t spied as much since the Cold War, and the High North is still the most important area. Grandhagen has said previously that his job is to make sure Norway doesn’t get caught unawares, and its interests in the High North are his top priority.

NATO has also used Norwegian high-technological surveillance to monitor the Russians for decades. The Globus-II radar positioned in Vardø is just one example.

“The government’s commitment to the High North, traditional threats such as terror, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, as well as Norway’s foreign military engagement, means a steady increase in the electronic surveillance section’s operations,” he says.

Domestic challenges

Meanwhile, other countries are actively placing their spies on Norwegian soil. The Police Security Service (PST), counted intelligence officers from 19 different countries.

Though some of them are here legally, some have come under false pretences.  Many pose as diplomats, businessmen, or journalists, for example, and their aim is to mislead, gather information, influence, recruit, undermine and, at worst, commit sabotage on behalf of foreign states to Norway’s cost.

Last year, the PST rated the threat of intelligence against Norway as high.



Published on Tuesday, 22nd June, 2010 at 15:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: kjell, grandhagen, intelligence, electronic, surveillance, service, high, north, russia, afghanistan, chad, somalia, sudan, kosovo, egypt, bosnia, kongo, middle, east, nato, vardoe, globus-ii, pst, .





  
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