The EOS Committee’s annual report for 2019

Below you may read a summary of the main issues in the annual report

Read the full report here (pdf)

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST):
• The Committee has criticised PST for having registered members of the Storting based solely on their membership of a parliamentary friendship group that makes them potential targets for foreign intelligence activities. The discretionary judgement exercised by PST in registering these members of the Storting, was blameworthy. PST has informed the Committee that the registered information will be deleted.

• A journalist was registered by PST because he was invited to dinner by someone with links to foreign intelligence. Despite the fact that five years had passed without any new information in the case, PST considered it necessary to keep the registration, as the person could still be a target of foreign intelligence activities. The Committee did not agree that PST had a basis for retaining the registered information. PST has subsequently informed the Committee that the registered information will be deleted.

• In a special report to the Storting submitted in December, we strongly criticised PST for having collected a large quantity of information about Norwegian citizens’ air travel.

The Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS):
• The Committee criticised The NIS for failing to inform it about a tool for collating counterterrorism information, including information about Norwegian foreign fighters. We cannot exercise real oversight of the service’s processing of information about Norwegians if we are not aware of all the systems, registers and tools where such information is processed.

• In 2019, the Committee requested verbal and written briefings from The NIS about how the service ensures national control of what intelligence information is disclosed to foreign collaborative partners. The answers received have been satisfactory.

The National Security Authority (NSM):
• The Committee has conducted an investigation of security interviews in NSM and FSA. In our opinion, the overall quality of such interviews is better than in previous investigations carried out by the Committee. At the same time, we find that several shortcomings remain in how interviews are prepared and conducted.

• In one complaint case, the Committee concluded that the complainant’s rights had been violated when the person was denied security clearance on invalid grounds. NSM had failed to ensure that the case was sufficiently elucidated.

Other intelligence, surveillance or security services:
• The Norwegian Special Operation Forces (FSK) and PST have been criticised for giving incorrect information to the Committee about technical equipment being lent to PST by FSK. It is also unfortunate that neither PST nor the Special Operation Forces appear to have documentation or traceability concerning lending of technical equipment.

Read the full report here (pdf)

See previous annual reports here