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2000 03 05 * Ekstra Bladet * Canadian Echelon spy : 
I met with danish agents in Copenhagen * Bo Elkjaer, Kenan Seeberg

Echelon bought "raw interceptions" from Norway and possibly Denmark for dollars says former Echelon spy Mike Frost

Scandinavian countries sold intercepted data to Echelon, retired Echelon spy Mike Frost tells Ekstra Bladet today. "We bought raw intercepted data from the Scandinavian countries," states former spy Mike Frost.


"When I was working for Canada's intelligence agency CSE (Communications Security Establishment), we bought mounds of raw material from some of the Scandinavian countries. That's something I clearly remember. I remember Norway in particular."

What about Denmark?
"I am quite sure we also bought material from Denmark. But remember that when I was an agent, I didn't try to remember things like that. I was supposed to forget them as soon as possible. I don't remember anything about Sweden, so I can't confirm it offhand."

You say you πbought' data. What do you mean by that?
"Well, we paid dollars for data, and it wasn't unusual for us to do so. The data sold by Norway, and in all probability Denmark too, to the Echelon system are πraw data', i.e. unsorted surveillance data intercepted from the airwaves, recorded on tape and sold to Canadian spies from the CSE “ and thus to the entire Echelon system."

Mike Frost is the third Echelon spy who chooses to come forward in Ekstra Bladet. He describes in detail how the spies have been listening in far and wide. Mike Frost is a little more guarded when asked about Scandinavia's role in the espionage apparatus, since he does not intend to reveal everything. He chose to come forward because he believes that the surveillance performed by the clandestine services is way out of line. On the other hand, he does not want to run the risk of compromising Western military interests.
There are some things he can divulge however.



Have you ever met Danish intelligence agents when buying raw data?
"Yes. I have even been to a meeting in Copenhagen as a representative for Canada's intelligence service. I remember being very disappointed by the Little Mermaid."

Can you remember anything besides the Little Mermaid, like what the meeting was about?
"Yes, but I would rather not say anything about it."

Did you meet with Danish military spies?
"I met with Danish agents who work with signals intelligence (Aflandshage on the island of Amager south of Copenhagen is a signals intelligence station - ed.)."

Did your meeting involve any intelligence swapping?
"I wouldn't tell you if it did. That would make it secret NATO information. You will have to be content in knowing that we met."



But will you confirm that Echelon is used to circumvent national laws which stipulate that spying on private individuals cannot be performed without a court order?
"Yes, I can, because we bought unsorted raw material taken down right from the air waves."

Did you get it on-line?
"I have no idea how your guys collected it. I can only say that it included ALL kinds of information and that we had lots of it."

Was it more than just military communication?
"The very fact that it was unsorted material meant it also included a lot of other miscellaneous information."

Frost goes on to say that almost all the material intercepted at the Alert and Leitrim surveillance bases where he spied was forwarded to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA.
"The Americans were the ones who trained us and ran the entire operation," he says.
Last year, the Danish Minister of Defense Hans H'kkerup stated that Denmark's intelligence service had intercepted all communication that had been possible to intercept after World War II. Hard pressed, he also admitted that Denmark cooperates with foreign services in this context. For the time being, we can only guess who we are cooperating with. The Minister refused to say anything about it - back then.
Today, Ekstra Bladet can safely assert that Denmark's clandestine signals-intelligence agents are at any rate cooperating with both Canada's Echelon service, CSE, and the USA's backer of the entire project, the National Security Agency (NSA).



Do you have any examples of surveillance of ordinary people?
"Yes, I do. One of the examples involved an episode with a woman who told her friend that her son had failed at school. She described how he had πbombed out' on the admissions test. Naturally the word πbomb' was the interesting feature of their conversation. Since the conversation was somewhat unclear, the analyst included her name on a list of possible terrorists. Later we found out what it was actually about."

Will similar events occur in the future?
"In light of the staggering amount of information that is being intercepted, there is no doubt that episodes like this will be common occurrences in the Echelon system."

What would be the consequences for ordinary people of being blacklisted along with criminals and terrorists? Could they risk being denied entry into the USA and other places?
"Your imagination is the only limit for what is possible."