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1999 12 09 * Ekstra Bladet * HÆKKERUP: many are monitoring US * Bo Elkjaer, Kenan Seeberg

A great number of countries and organizations are able to monitor danish communications, says minister of defense Hans Hækkerup


Danish citizens and companies are being monitored by a great number of countries and organizations, according to an explanation given by Denmark's Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup last Wednesday in the Danish parliament in reply to two questions from Keld Albrechtsen (Unity Party).

Bad Aibling Regional Sigint Operations Center. Here, the NSA listens to the world.

Keld Albrechtsen had asked the Minister of Defense if the Danish Government would try to get the US to enter into an agreement in which it promises to refrain from spying on Denmark and monitoring Danish citizens. Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup blankly denied any attempt to enter into this kind of agreement with the US.

"In my opinion, this would merely involve a false sense of security for Danish companies and citizens if we - and I'm being totally hypothetical now - were even able to enter into agreements of this kind, because there would still be a great number of countries and organizations that would be able to monitor Danish communication," said Hans Hækkerup.

Minister of Defense Hans Hækkerup came much closer to openly admitting that the US is one of the many countries doing the monitoring in places like Denmark, when he answered a different question about the listening post operated by the US in Germany. The listening post is located in Bad Aibling near Munich.

"In reply to the other question about whether surveillance of Denmark can occur from facilities, from American facilities in Germany, I am not familiar with the facilities in question, and therefore I am unable to say anything about them. But I am convinced that information about communication coming in and out of Denmark is available from a large number of facilities around the world."

Hækkerup's best answer from the rostrum today was: "The best way to ensure Danish companies and citizens is to make sure they have access to powerful encrypting. There are no other options for protecting electronic communication."