COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Several European nations need Denmark to elucidate why its overseas secret service allegedly helped the United States spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, greater than seven years in the past.
“We want the cards on the table,’ said Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hulqvist, adding it was “unacceptable to eavesdrop on allies.”
Danish lawmaker Karsten Hoenge of the left-leaning Socialist People’s Party, which is supporting Denmark’s Social Democratic authorities, stated Monday that he would quiz the Scandinavian nation’s protection and justice ministers in parliament about the case.
“The government must explain how come Denmark has been acting as a willing tool for a U.S. intelligence service, and what it will mean for cooperation with Denmark’s neighboring countries,” he stated.
The Danish broadcaster DR stated Sunday that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, identified in Denmark by its acronym FE, in 2014 carried out an inner investigation into whether or not the U.S. National Security Agency had used its cooperation with the Danes to spy towards Denmark and neighboring nations.
The probe concluded that NSA had eavesdropped on political leaders and officers in Germany, France, Sweden and Norway.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg stated it was “unacceptable if countries that have close allied cooperation should feel the need to spy on each other or obtain information about them.”
Spying on others “creates more mistrust than it creates collaboration. So, it’s not a smart investment for the United States,” she instructed the Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
According to DR, the alleged set-up between the United States and Denmark was codenamed “Operation Dunhammer.” It reportedly allowed the NSA to acquire knowledge by utilizing the phone numbers of politicians as search parameters.
DR stated its report was primarily based on interviews with 9 unnamed sources, all of whom have been stated to have had entry to labeled info held by the FE. The army company allegedly helped the NSA from 2012 to 2014.
Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, stated Monday that “the German government has taken note of the reporting. It is in contact with all relevant national and international authorities for clarification.”
Seibert stated Merkel came upon about the newest spying report because of questions from journalists.
Reports in 2013 that the NSA listened in on German authorities telephones, together with Merkel’s, prompted a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Washington that soured in any other case good relations with Barack Obama’s administration.
Merkel at the time declared that “spying among friends” was unacceptable. Still, there have been additionally experiences that Germany’s personal BND intelligence company might have helped the U.S. spy on European corporations and officers.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed particulars of the secret U.S. eavesdropping packages in 2013, reacted to the DR report with a sarcastic tweet in Danish: “Oh, why didn’t anyone warn us?”
In a written remark to DR, Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen stated the authorities can not talk about intelligence issues.
She added the current authorities has “the same point of view ” as the former Social Democratic authorities led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt who was in energy throughout that interval: “the systematic wiretapping of close allies is unacceptable.”
In August, Bramsen relieved the head of the nation’s overseas intelligence service, amongst others, after an impartial watchdog closely criticized the spy company for intentionally withholding info and violating Danish legal guidelines.
Denmark has two intelligence companies, the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, which can also be chargeable for army intelligence, and the home Danish Security and Intelligence Service, identified by its Danish acronym PET.