In a shocking story that has yet to receive mainstream media attention, a whistleblower says the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) worked with their Danish counterparts to spy on many European countries. The NSA eventually used the arrangement to snoop on Danish government agencies and to try to influence Denmark’s purchase of fighter jets, Danish public broadcaster DR reported last month.
A whistleblower reportedly told DR that the NSA and Denmark’s military intelligence agency Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE) signed an agreement in 2008 under which the NSA would help Denmark tap internet cables in exchange for giving the NSA access to internet cables to Eastern Europe. DR reported a special building to process the data was constructed near Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport.
The NSA then turned around and began surveilling the Danish Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs, and Terma, Denmark’s largest aerospace and defense company, DR reported. The NSA also allegedly spied on surrounding countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The whistleblower reportedly is a former FE employee who warned managers about possible illegalities.
The NSA went so far as to collect information on Denmark’s planned purchase of military aircraft, DR reported. The NSA allegedly engaged in a “targeted search” of Terma in 2015 and 2017, and accessed communications databases related to companies Eurofighter and Saab, which also were competing to win the contract. Lockheed Martin eventually won deal to sell Denmark 27 F-35 fighter jets.
Even before this news broke, FE head Lars Findsen was suspended along with two FE employees for concealing the improper surveillance of Danish citizens for the past six years. Defense Minister said the matter would be investigated with “the utmost seriousness.”