Swedish intelligence service spying on Russia for US National Security Agency [World Socialist Website]

By Jordan Shilton
30 December 2013

Documents released by Edward Snowden reveal that Sweden’s National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) has been collecting large quantities of communications data from Russia, which it has passed to the American National Security Agency (NSA).

The revelations confirm that such collaboration goes back for decades.

According to one document published by public broadcaster SVT December, Stockholm signed a top-secret cooperation agreement in 1954 with the United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada — the so-called Five Eyes — to exchange intelligence information. This was replaced in 2004 by bilateral agreements with each country, which saw the collaboration intensify. Throughout the Cold War, FRA passed information obtained from the Soviet Union to its Western allies.

“The relationship with Sweden is protected on the top-secret level because of the country’s political neutrality [sic],” a 2006 NSA document noted.

Due to its geographic location, the FRA has access to Russian communications, including those from “high priority” targets from politics and areas of economic interest, such as the energy sector. Estimates from Russia Today put the amount of communications data from Russia that passes through Sweden at 80 percent. A recent NSA document from April 2013 states, “FRA provided NSA (with a) unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics.”

The cooperation between FRA and the NSA was expanded significantly in 2011, with the NSA gaining access to FRA’s network of cables. This included the ability to intercept communications from the Baltic countries through under-sea cables controlled by Sweden.

British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell gave an indication of the scale of collaboration between Sweden, the US and Britain at a European Parliament hearing on state surveillance in early September. “A new organization has joined the “Five Eyes” and is seen as the largest cooperating partner to [the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters] GCHQ outside the English-speaking countries — and that is Sweden,” he said.

A FRA spokesman accepted that the NSA had full access to data collected by Swedish intelligence, and explained how this was in the interests of the Swedish government:…

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/12/30/swed-d30.html


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