Oslo spied on millions of phone calls: Military chief
Iran Press TV
Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:8PM GMT
Norway's military intelligence chief has admitted that Oslo gathered records on millions of phone calls around the world and shared that data with its allies including the United States.
The head of the Nordic country's military intelligence agency Lieutenant General Kjell Grandhagen admitted that Oslo has shared the data "with several partners," including the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US.
Lieutenant General Grandhagen told reporters on Tuesday that the calls were conducted in conflict areas around the world as well as Norwegian citizens.
The agency's surveillance measures were legally conducted under Norwegian law to combat terrorism and support military operations abroad, Grandhagen said.
The statements come following newly released classified documents by Norway's Dagbladet newspaper, which revealed that the NSA has monitored over 33 million mobile phone conversations in Norway in the course of just one month.
The leaked documents, entitled "Norway - Last 30 days," showed that Norway had the highest number of communications registered in relation to its population (currently just over 5 million).
In June, former US contractor Edward Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, which revealed that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about the organization's espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
US Embassy officials claimed they could not comment on the recent leaks, saying the US "gathers intelligence overseas just like all countries do."
Norway is geographically and strategically an important country for the US, because of its vast oil industry and wealth, and its shared border with Russia.
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