For years, the US secret service NSA has abused a cooperation agreement with Denmark to spy on allies in Europe, including the Netherlands. This is reported by the Danish public service broadcaster DR on the basis of reports of a whistleblower.
Several sources have confirmed the news against the broadcaster. De Volkskrant has also studied the issue.
The NSA and the Danish military service FE agreed in 2008 that Denmark, with the help of the Americans, could tap Internet cables in Denmark. In return, the NSA was given access to Internet cables to Eastern Europe. Together, they processed data in a specially built data centre 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 neighbouring countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
As a concrete target in Denmark, DR mentions, among other things, the defence company Terma, which was involved in the purchase of a new type of jet fighter. In the end, the choice fell on the American Joint Strike Fighter a few years ago. Concrete details about espionage in the Netherlands DR does not give.
This came to light by a former employee of the Danish service FE, who expressed his concerns about the Danish-American cooperation in internal reports. Because of the absence of measures, he leaked the reports to a supervisory body. It then conducted research, which led to several FE officials being put inactive last summer.
Sources in the Dutch secret service do not want to tell the Volkskrant whether they are aware of the issue. “Everyone spies”, says an employee in a relativing way.