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2 out of 3 don’t believe Danish PM on NSA surveillance

DANISH NEWS - Cushy relationship with United States criticised by pundits, as Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt claims that the US National Security Agency doesn't operate in Denmark

65 per cent of voters mistrust Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s claim that the USA hasn’t conducted illegal surveillance in this country, a new Megafon survey for Danish daily Politiken shows. They believe Denmark’s relationship with the US is more important for the government than protecting citizens’ private rights, reports

One in four believe that the USA is monitoring their phone and internet activities and 68 per cent believe that US intelligence agencies have the ability to do so if they want to.

Peter Lauritsen, head of the Forum for Surveillance Studies at Aarhus University, said the survey shows that people in this country aren’t naive and have a realistic attitude towards what’s at stake.

Thorning: No NSA here

“There’s a definite possibility that information is being collected and then sent to the USA,” he claimed.

”I’ve no doubts at all that they can obtain information about us by metadata and telephone conversations if they want, but I doubt whether they would feel the need.”

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt declined to comment on the survey but told a parliamentary committee yesterday that the Administration of Justice Act prevents covert surveillance of citizens without a court warrant.

She says the US National Security Agency (NSA), suspected of widespread surveillance activities in Germany and Spain, hasn’t been operating in this country.

‘Stunned’ by PM

But there’s no reason for Helle Thorning-Schmidt not to criticise the USA in the Angela Merkel wire-tap scandal, according to political commentator Hans Engell, a former Conservative Party leader. He is ‘stunned’ by the prime minister’s reluctance to back Ms Merkel and French President Francois Hollande’s call for a full review of US surveillance operations in Europe.

See article from newspaper BT (in Danish).

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