Report on the digital flow of information into and out of Norway

The Ministry of Defence established an independent committee in February with the objective of evaluating main issues concerning the collection of information from the digital traffic in and out of Norway. Olav Lysne, as head of the committee, presented the report on Monday, September 5th.

Olav Lysne presented the report to the press and delivered it in its entirety to Minister of Defence, Ine Eriksen Søreide, on Monday this week. An independent evaluation was requested as the Norwegian Government wishes to adapt to the quick advancements in global communication technologies. More than 95 percent of the communications traffic in Norway is presently transmitted over high speed fibre connections, as opposed to the radio- and satellite signals that were in use not long ago. The committee has evaluated whether Norwegian Intelligence can access the information that is conveyed in the fibreoptic network in the same way that satellite and radio communications are presently accessible.

The committee took matters of privacy and personal freedom into consideration in their evaluation, concluding that obtaining access to the fibre network is appropriate for Norwegian Intelligence, due to the nature of their social responsibility, but only under careful scrutiny. The access is deemed acceptable due to the escalation of digital threats against Norway and Norwegian interests, and the fact that the monitoring of the fibre optic network replaces the monitoring of older modes of technology. Due to the possibility of picking up sensitive information, the report underlines that this kind of defence mechanism should only be installed with strict control mechanisms in place of both technical and human nature.

The committee members were professor Olav Lysne, (head), attourney Christian Reusch, attourney Eva Jarbekk, department director Einar Lunde and rear admiral Trond Grytting (retired). The report is publicly available here:
Lysne, Olav: «Digitalt grenseforsvar (DGF)» (PDF, 1475 KiB, in Norwegian), Simula Research Laboratory, Centre for Resilient Networks and Applications (CRNA), ISBN 978-82-583-1249-6, Fornebu, Akershus/Norway, August 26, 2016, [BibTeX, XML].