Norway denies NSA spying, says it shared intelligence with US
Norway's intelligence services said it - and not the U.S. National Security Agency, as reported in a Norwegian newspaper - kept records on more than 33 million phone conversations over the space of one month last winter, Oslo said on Tuesday.
The daily Dagbladet said the U.S. NSA spied on close NATO ally Norway, collecting data about Norwegian phone conversations last December and January.
"This is data collection by Norwegian intelligence to support Norwegian military operations in conflict areas abroad, or connected to the fight against terrorism, also abroad," Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen, head of the Norwegian Intelligence Service, told a news conference.
"This was not data collection from Norway against Norway, but Norwegian data collection that is shared with the Americans."
Dagbladet's report, based on documents made public by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, was co-authored by Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who brought Snowden's leaks to world attention.
The US National Security Agency logged more than 33 million Norwegian phone conversations over a period of a month last winter, a newspaper said on Tuesday in the first such report involving Norway, a NATO ally.
The report in the Dagbladet daily was based on documents made public by fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. It was co-authored by Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who brought Snowden's leaks to world attention.
Snowden's revelations about the scale of NSA snooping worldwide, on foreign governments and leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as on ordinary citizens, have strained U.S. relations with some of its allies.
According to Dagbladet, information from 33.19 million phone calls were logged between December 10, 2012, and January 8, 2013. Anyone from among Norway's 5.1 million people could have had information about their phone calls recorded, the paper said.
Among European countries, Norway had the largest number of calls logged per capita by the NSA in that period, it added.
Logged information included the length of the calls, who made and received the call, the location of the phones and their serial numbers, said Dagbladet.
"Friends should not spy on one another," Prime Minister Erna Solberg told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK on Tuesday. "It is legitimate to conduct intelligence but it should be targeted and based on suspicions."
Voice of Russia, Reuters