Spies likes US: Was a whistleblower’s warning ignored?

New revelations emerge surrounding the controversial intelligence collaboration between Denmark and the US

Reports from a whistleblower in Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (FE) – the Defence Intelligence Service – reveal that the US spied on Danish ministries and private defence sector companies, facilitated by a collaboration with the Danish intelligence service.

The whistleblower warned senior FE staff in 2015 of possible illegalities in a Danish-US intelligence agreement, as well as of similar malpractices taking place in neighbouring countries, including Sweden.

It is unclear whether or not FE acted on the reports.

NSA access
This latest news follows fierce criticism of FE in August, when Tilsynet med Efterretningstjenesterne (TET) strongly criticised the collaboration with the US.

In particular, FE was censured for giving the NSA access to large amounts of raw data from Danish cable networks.

Specific employees targeted
New, however, is the understanding that this access facilitated the particular targeting of Danish interests by the US.

In one case, the NSA can be seen to target specific Terma employees – searching for phone numbers and email addresses – in relation to Denmark’s purchase of F-16 fighter jets from the company in 2015 and 2016.

As well as Terma, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are also believed to have been targeted by the Americans.