Danish intelligence agency storing sensitive data in secret database

Christian Wenande
April 3rd, 2018

This article is more than 5 years old.

Politicians demand an explanation from the Justice Ministry over PET revelation

PET under the microscope (photo: Justice Ministry)

Politicians are up in arms following the revelation that the intelligence agency PET is storing sensitive personal data in a secret database.

According to Politiken newspaper, PET staff can view the information in the database – upon approval from PET heads – despite the law stipulating that PET must delete sensitive personal data 15 years (at the latest) after it is collected. PET called it a “logical deletion”.

“Calling it a logical deletion is pure George Orwell, because it’s neither logical nor a deletion. It’s the moving of data from one archive to another, which they then lock and give the PET head the keys to. The PET law’s deletion deadline has proven to be a postulate – we don’t have a system that protects the Danes’ judicial security,” Claus Juul, the head lawyer at Amnesty Denmark, told Politiken.

READ MORE: PET: Terror threat in Denmark still serious

Pape under the gun
According to the archive law from 2013, a large part of PET’s material must be transferred to the State Archives, so future historians can look at it. Meanwhile, some of it is kept at PET for security reasons.

A majority of the parties in Parliament, including Venstre, Socialdemokratiet, Dansk Folkeparti (DF), Alternativet, Radikale and Enhedslisten, have demanded an explanation from the justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen.

“It goes without saying that we need to have a strong intelligence agency that can keep us all safe, but there should also be a fixed framework in place,” Peter Kofod Poulsen, DF’s spokesperson for judicial matters, told DR Nyheder.


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