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15 August 2013

FBI Spying Against Assange in Denmark


A sends:

Google translation of Danish article (needs tidying):

FBI spying against Assange in Denmark

08.14.2013 | 13:34

By: Bo Elkjær

In the wake of the recent revelations of monitoring and recording Denmark will now implicated in a spying operation directed against leakage organization WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

Danish journalists can potentially be placed on the FBI's scrutiny in connection with the FBI's operation, which was settled in Aarhus last year.

After the Icelandic government in August 2011, discovered and disrupted an FBI operation against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange continued FBI operation against leakage organization - but steered it now instead via Denmark.

Agents from the FBI has held several meetings with a secret WikiLeaks source in Aarhus. Here, the source handed large amounts of data on WikiLeaks to the FBI.

In the materials provided is also information about journalists who have been in contact with WikiLeaks.

Several Danish journalists have been in close contact with WikiLeaks. Among them is the Information Charlotte Aagaard. Dagbladet Information given advance access to 391,832 Iraqi documents . Charlotte Aagaard was one of a group of journalists on Information, who worked with the material.

"We have obviously been in contact with Assange and others from Wikileaks, so I do not know if we appear on the list," said Charlotte Aagaard.

Another of the Danish journalists who were in close contact with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, is Filip Wallberg. He was then at Ekstra Bladet, but is now an associate professor at University of Southern Denmark:

"I have visited them. I have sat and smoked hookah with Julian Assange. So ... Huha ... '

Bødskov is silent

The journalist asked Monday writing Attorney Morten Bødskov, the Danish authorities had knowledge of the U.S. operation on Danish soil. Thursday morning, said Justice Minister Morten Bødskovs Special Adviser in an email:

"Thanks for your mail. Ministry of Justice has no comment."

It is the U.S. magazine Slate, revealing that the FBI moved to Aarhus after being kicked out of Reykjavik.

It was the Icelandic interior minister, Ögmundur Jonasson, who interrupted the U.S. operation in Iceland. Then protested the Icelandic government officially against operation against Washington.

"I was not aware that they came to the Island," said Interior Minister Ögmundur Jonasson in an interview with The Associated Press in March 2013.

"When I heard about it, I demanded that Iceland's police to stop any cooperation, and stressed that the people being interviewed or interrogated in Iceland, be heard by the Icelandic police."

The formal protest was delivered by Icelandic diplomats in Washington.

Landed in private jet

"We made it clear to the U.S. authorities that here was not favorably considered," said Ögmundur Jonasson.

FBI agents landed in a private jet in Reykjavik in August 2011.

The FBI had not already informed Iceland that it would launch the operation.

Otherwise it is a formal requirement of all NATO countries - including the United States and Iceland - that mutually inform about the type of operations before they begin. According to the security agreement "Security Within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization", which was first formalized and ratified in 1955, and has since been adjusted continuously.

Similarly, Denmark also all right to be informed from the U.S. when the FBI begins operations on Danish soil.

After FBI agents had landed in Reykjavik, contacted the head of the Icelandic police and the chief Icelandic state prosecutor in an attempt to gain access to all available information about WikiLeaks.

Evicted again

As Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson heard about the FBI visit, he met with the agents and said that the Icelandic government could not allow foreign powers to conduct operations in the Icelandic reason. FBI agents were then ordered to leave the country.

After an Icelandic government meeting was in charge of Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphéðinsson formal protest to the United States.

In August 2011, was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London.

FBI source was the now 20-year-old Icelander Sigurdur Thordarson, who as a teenager was an activist in WikiLeaks.

Sigurdur Thordarson Provided Data on Assange on WikiLeaks and affiliated activists and people to the FBI. , the young Icelander was revealed as the source of the FBI operation in Wired magazine in June .

Continuing in Aarhus

Last month, Bradley Manning convicted of espionage, theft and computer fraud after leaked large amounts of information to WikiLeaks, including video footage of air strikes in Iraq and diplomatic and military telegrams and information.

Julian Assange staying at Ecuador's embassy in London and trying to avoid being extradited to Sweden where he is accused of sexual offenses. Assange fears that Sweden will extradite him to the United States for trial in leak cases.

The operation against WikiLeaks continued after the FBI had been kicked out of Reykjavik.

On 18 March 2012 met Sigurdur Thordarson in Aarhus with agents from the FBI.

It was here, Sigurdur Thordarson supplied most of the material he had collected as infiltrator in WikiLeaks. The material was transferred to solve hard drives that were packed to the brim with information on leakage organization. Total handed Thordarson eight hard drives with a total capacity of 1 terabyte of data - that is, 1,000 gigabytes.

In comparison, putting WikiLeaks organization itself in 2010 an encrypted file on the network as insurance in the event that the authorities were successful in stopping the organization. This encrypted file that bears the name "insurance" , is 1.4 gigabytes, ie. a fraction of the total material, the FBI got access to the operation in Aarhus.

FBI source Sigurdur Thordarson has particular handed logs from private online chats, photos, contact info on volunteers, activists, and so all journalists in contact with WikiLeaks.

Not very funny

"It is very expected, but I do not think it's very fun," said Information Charlotte Aagaard.

"When we were working with documents, we tried to be very safety conscious, with our communication with WikiLeaks."

"We tried of course to blur as well as possible, even when we had the documents. But we figured the whole time that it would have the authorities' interest, it is clear. We also did some legal research to find out what we could be held accountable for. Luckily it was the case that Congress Legal Committee in the United States rather quickly did a study that stated that the U.S. source protection also applies to foreign journalists and media. Not just American media. We also had hold of our own attorney in this house to find out what it could have of reprisals. There we concluded, inter alia, based on Grevil thing that probably would not be any. "

"It is deeply worrying if the FBI also cares for journalists in countries other than the United States. They should basically only interested in things that are going on in the U.S. or directly threaten the United States. But I expect it, I'd say. '

Charlotte Aagaard is concerned that the FBI used Aarhus to meet with the then secret Icelandic source.

"If it was done without Danish knowledge, then it is illegal. It's that easy. But if it is carried out with Danish authorities 'knowledge, it is not nice to think about.'

"I'm not a aleck '

Filip Wallenberg traveled in 2010 to London to meet with Julian Assange and talk about the leaked documents and had for some time been in regular contact with the organization.

'So I am enough of an FBI file. Cosy! Somewhere it should as a journalist piss me crazy, but honestly: It will not surprise me in any way whatsoever. "

"After the recent revelations must probably more to offend me. Do not misunderstand me, I should be angry about it, but it's what I expected that they would do. "

"I'm not a aleck, I'm a tiny piece of a big game and in no way whatsoever a threat to American security. But when dealing with such a hateful organization like WikiLeaks to do, so you just have to take the big tin foil hat on and expect the worst, "says Filip Wallberg.

Embarrassing for the authorities

What do you think about the FBI moved the operation to Denmark?

"Well, there are two scenarios: Has Danish authorities were aware of the surgery or not? If the Danish administration, and I am thinking both at the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Police Intelligence and Defence Intelligence, the whole gang as a whole, if they did not know that the FBI was in Denmark, then it's embarrassing for them! It is almost the worst if they did not know it, "says Filip Wallberg.

"They should know. It is actually one of the things they are paid for. To detect when other countries' intelligence services operating in Denmark. If there are foreign powers in Denmark, so should there be a warning bell up the Danish authorities. If the pet know that there is an operation in Denmark, so it should be reported up the system. "

'Of course, the FBI does not have free play in Denmark to gather information. It must do at home in the United States. The FBI is not an authority in Denmark. We should not facilitate them, we should not help them in Denmark against WikiLeaks. It's gone wrong for Julian Assange and it has gone wrong for WikiLeaks, but having said that, they have not done anything illegal. They have presented evidence which we journalists have been evidence of a number of factors. It is a completely classical leakage. '

"Denmark will not facilitate the FBI in such an investigation, and it is also helpful to say" You must like to meet up in Aarhus. Enjoy. We recommend the hotel where we met with Morten Storm ". It's not what we do. It's idiocy. "

At the meeting in Aarhus with the Icelandic source he got a written receipt for the eight hard drives, which he handed over to the FBI. All hard disks were password protected, and the FBI later got the passwords to the content.

Neither WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have wanted to comment on the case against the journalist.