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[FYI] Sweden: U.S. Industrial Espionage Is Confronted


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17 June 1999. Thanks to Laszlo Baranyi for translation. 

English translation of a report in the Swedish newspaper Datateknik,
June 10, 1999, "USAs Industrispionage ställs mot väggen":

U.S. Industrial Espionage Is Confronted 

By Göran Andersson 

The Swedish government will investigate if the U.S. uses signals
intelligence, meant for national security purposes, in a way that is a
disadvantage for Swedish corporations. A highly controversial report
about signals intelligence was given to the European Parliament, and
has now reached the Sweden's Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

     [Text of image of the front-page of the EuroParl report.]
     In a report written for the European Parliament it is claimed
     that information from United States military signals intelligence
     is used to benefit American corporations. The report contains
     several examples on how information from espionage has been used
     for business-related purposes. 

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) has used signals
intelligence to intercept internal information from European
corporations (Thomson and Airbus). This information has later been
handed over to American corporations which then has succeeded to take
home important affairs according to the report Interception
Capabilities 2000 (IC 2000). 

- "The foreign department will look at the report. It is serious
matter if information meant for political security purposes would be
misused in this way," says Niklas Johansson, political expert at the
ministry for Foreign Affairs 

- "It is serious if these claims are true. Our problem is to find out
if they really are true," says Niklas Johansson. 

SÄPO [Sweden's version of CIA] has earlier been assigned to find out
if Sweden's industry is subject to industrial espionage from foreign
countries. SÄPO has however so far not reported anything that
corresponds to the information's that now is in IC 2000. The first
news articles about IC 2000 appeared a few weeks ago and also in U.S.
The report has also created loud discussions even in Denmark. 

IC 2000, now available at http://www.gn.apc.org/duncan/stoa_cover.htm,
explains in detail for how advanced signals intelligence works, and
has grown up. Now, there are 120 satellites at work that intercept the
telephone network and Internet. Even optical cables across the sea are

The report even says that it is possibly to identify individuals by
using voice recognition. By using signals intelligence from satellites
it is possible to intercept phonecalls. The collected information is
then processed in a grand scale by computers, to extract the important

U.S. has established a global network and co-operates mainly with
Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. According to the
report, advanced signals intelligence is also carried out by 30
countries including Russia and China. The yearly cost for the signal
intelligence is estimated to 140 - 180 milliard crowns (15-20 billion
Euro) and the main part goes to the U.S. lead signals intelligence
operation, often called Echelon It has been long known that grand
scale signals intelligence has been used. But the political sensitive
part is if the information is then used for industrial political
purposes. IC 2000 gives several examples that this is the case. 

     * In Australia it is reported how the information has been used
     during negotiations with Japanese buyers of iron and coal. 

     * The American company, US Raytheon Corporation, (which amongst
     other things maintains the satellites) received a milliard
     contract [see the figures in the Swedish report. Milliard in
     Swedish is not necessary the same as in US] in Brazil since the
     interception revealed a competing foreign corporation. The
     foreign corporation was then claimed to have bribed Brazilian
     government members. 

     * Fax and telephone traffic between the European flight
     consortium Airbus and the Saudi Arabian government and the Saudi
     Arabian airline was intercepted. It showed that Airbus bribed
     Saudis. The information was forwarded further. The American
     corporations Boeing and MCDonnel Douglas wan the battle of a
     contract worth $6 billion. 

IC 2000 points on several other examples where the American government
has used information from the intelligence service to help the
nation's own corporations. It spans everything from the upcoming
pollution limitations for Japanese cars to the GATT negotiations. 

The obvious question is naturally if this controversial information is
true, and how the European parliament will handle it. According to
press spokesmen in the European Parliament, there is no decision on
whether the Parliament really shall process the factual information in
IC 2000 and take a stand on if it is true or not. 

U.S. signals intelligence was a big discussion issue already at the
European Parliament's big discussion last year on the cooperation
between the European Union and the U.S. IC 2000 will surely give more
arguments at coming Parliament discussions. 

The report has been made on behalf of the European Parliament
investigation office STOA (Scientific and Technical Options Assessment
programme office). It is not known that any of the governments within
EU has taken a position in the matter. 

Author: The author of the Swedish original article is Göran Andersson.
He is a freelance journalist with the telecom market as a speciality. 


Reference: The original Swedish article was published in Datateknik,
10th of June, 1999, "USAs Industrispionage ställs mot väggen":


Translated by Laszlo Baranyi, PGP key 3CEAEF2C.

The full IC 2000 report can also be found at: 



or Zipped-compressed: http://jya.com/ic2000-dc.htm 

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