The US secret service NSA has for years abused a cooperation agreement with Denmark to spy on allies in Europe, including the Netherlands. The Danish public broadcaster DR reports this on the basis of reports from a whistleblower.
Various sources have confirmed the news against the broadcaster. De Volkskrant has also looked into the issue.
The NSA and the Danish military service FE agreed in 2008 that Denmark could tap Internet cables in Denmark with the help of the Americans. In return, the NSA gained access to internet cables to Eastern Europe. Together they processed data in a purpose-built data center close to Copenhagen Airport.
What the Danes did not know, however, is that the US also used that internet access to spy on Denmark itself and surrounding countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
As a concrete target in Denmark, the broadcaster DR mentions, among others, the defense company Terma, which was involved in the purchase of a new type of jet fighter. A few years ago, the choice fell on the American Joint Strike Fighter. DR does not provide concrete details about espionage in the Netherlands.
This was brought to light by a former employee of the Danish service FE, who expressed his concerns about the Danish-American cooperation in internal reports. Because no measures were taken, he leaked the reports to a supervisory authority. He then conducted an investigation, which led to several FE officials being put on hold last summer.
Sources at the Dutch secret service do not want to tell de Volkskrant whether they are aware of the matter. “Everyone spies,” says an employee, putting things into perspective.
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