The EOS Committee’s annual report for 2018

Below you may read a summary from the annual report

Read the full report here (pdf)

The EOS Committee’s most important task is ‘to ascertain whether the rights of any person are violated and to prevent such violations’. The Committee performs this task by checking whether PST’s registration of persons is in accordance with the law, ensuring that the Intelligence Service does not violate the prohibition against surveillance Norwegians in Norway, and checking whether security clearance cases have been processed in a fair manner

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST):

• In a high proportion of cases, PST has communicated information to the security clearance authorities verbally without documenting this in writing. This is in violation of the law.

• In one case, PST has registered information about a person’s political involvement and disclosed it to a security clearance authority. This is prohibited, and the Committee criticised the service.

• PST disclosed information to a security clearance authority that a person, for whom security clearance was applied for, belonged to what PST calls an ‘extreme group with a potential for violence’. However, the person did not belong to the group in question.

• The Committee criticised PST for collecting a chat log on unlawful grounds.

• PST reported two non-conformities to the Committee. One of them concerned covert video surveillance where a camera was turned off nine days after the court’s permission had expired.

The National Security Authority (NSM):

• In one complaint, NSM has not complied with the Committee’s recommendation to grant the complainant access to correspondence between NSM and the Committee. The Committee finds this regrettable.

• NSM has violated a complainant’s rights by putting the person through a security clearance process without justification. The initial decision was ‘NO CLEARANCE’, which had negative consequences for the complainant.

• The Committee has finished the project about security clearance of persons with connection to other states. The project has resulted in a Special Report to the Storting.

The Norwegian Intelligence Service (The NIS):

• The NIS was of the opinion that the service had the right to go through information originating from communication between persons in Norway, even if the information had been unlawfully collected. The EOS Committee concluded as a matter of principle that the NIS is not permitted to go through such information. The Committee did not find that the NIS has actually done so.

• There is reason to doubt whether the service’s collection of information from open sources about Norwegian persons in Norway is lawful.

• The Committee has spent a lot of time working on the consultation submission to the Ministry of Defence’s proposal on the new Intelligence Service Act.

Other intelligence, surveillance or security services:

• The Committee has criticised the Office of the Auditor General of Norway for not giving people who are denied security clearance grounds for the decision.

Read the full report here (pdf)

See previous annual reports here