Journalists monitored by Norwegian Defence Intelligence

Web stromeriksenA new report shows that the Intelligence Service of the Norwegian Defense has illegally monitored two journalists from the Norwegian newspaper VG.

A report issued from the EOS committee, which oversees Norway's secret services and is appointed by the Government, reveals that the Army Intelligence Service has monitored journalists Rolf J. Widerøe and Hans Petter Aass.

- It is very important to find out who came up with this idea, how far up in the system people have been aware that this was going on, and why it was decided that information about the two journalists should be collected, says editor-in-chief at VG, Torry Pedersen.

Pedersen suspects that the collection of information about the two journalists may have been related to Aass and Widerøe's critical coverage in both articles and books about Norwegian secret services.

Eventually the journalists received a tip that a Norwegian intelligence organization was collecting information about them. "What we were told was so alarming that we asked the EOS-committee to get to the bottom of this," Widerøe tells NRK.

The EOS Committee's investigations revealed that the Intelligence Battalion had mapped out Aass and Widerøe, as well as their journalistic work, and collected information in files on the battalion's secret network.

Now the Committee concludes that the Intelligence Battalion had no legal right to collect information about the two journalists.

All information about Aass and Widerøe is supposedly deleted, but Widerøe tells NRK that he is still concerned with the consequences this will have for the people responsible.

- The Norwegian Defence is not supposed to illegally map Norwegian citizens. The way this is described makes this casse very serious. All facts must be put on the table, says Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

(NRK) - Photo - Regjeringen

Julie Ryland

 

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