Photo: Scanpix. Montage: Sveriges Radio.

Reinfeldt: "Nothing strange about USA co-operation"

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says he does not think there is anything strange about Sweden co-operating with the United States when it comes to keeping track of terrorist groups or international crime online, Swedish Radio News reports.

His comments following remarks by a British journalist in the European Parliament that Sweden has been helping the USA's National Security Agency collect computer traffic passing through cables under the Baltic Sea. The Prime Minister refused to comment whether the Swedish FRA was actually tapping the cables, however.

"I confirm nothing but the fact that Sweden has co-operated with other countries ever since the Second World War, and we even have a national defence policy that says that we should do that", he told Swedish Radio. "The important thing is that any intelligence operation follows the law and that there are good judicial mechanisms behind it."

Intelligence expert Wilhelm Agrell from Lund University says he is not surprised in the least by the suggestion that Sweden has been co-operating with the USA. He adds that any such co-operation would be completely legal according to the law from 2008 which regulates what Sweden's signal surveillance agency, the FRA, can and cannot do.

"The Swedish debate on the FRA law was all about the integrity of Swedish citizens", he told news agency TT, "There was no discussion about international co-operation. But there is a 'cloven hoof' in the FRA legislation. When it comes to international co-operation, in practice anything goes."

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