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SEPTEMBER 2020

Attention! Norwegian Intelligence Warns: Russians Infiltrated Social Networks

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According to the Norwegian Intelligence Service, “Russia will continue to carry out extensive intelligence activities on Norwegian targets.”

Attention! Norwegian Intelligence Warns: Russians Infiltrated Social Networks

Photo: Wikipedia / National Library of Australia

The Norwegian Intelligence Service (NIS), also known as Etterretningstjenesten, has warned that “Russia will continue to carry out extensive intelligence activities on Norwegian targets,” the Local informational website reported, citing a report of the special service.

“The threats in the digital world against political, military and economic targets are increasing. We expect extensive intelligence operations in the coming year,” the report states.

According to the NIS, the main threats to the country include digital threats from Russia and China, international terrorism, military buildup in Russia, and increased risk of conflict between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

The report states that the cyber threat from China is primarily concerned for industrial espionage, while Russia is going to influence the public opinion and political situation in Western countries.

“For several years, Russia has infiltrated social networks to influence public opinion and used this as a base to spread disinformation and slander. Based on Russia’s activity and capacity we believe that they possess information that they can use to influence the political processes and decisions of other countries,” the website quoted the report.

The NIS also warned that Russia may attempt to intervene in the election in Norway and in other European countries, recalling accusations of some US intelligence services, which considered that Russia was involved in the scandal, connected with the presidential race in their country. Moscow repeatedly rejected these suspicions.

“We have nothing concrete to suggest that there is a threat directed at the Norwegian elections, but we see what has developed over a very short time. It would be naive to believe that this couldn’t also affect the Norwegian election in different ways,” Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said.

The report also pointed out that despite problems in its economy, Russia ‘made a bid’ for development of military technologies, however, the intelligence service does not call Russia an direct opponent.

Norway also is concerned for technical progress of the neighboring state. According to head of the Norwegian Intelligence Service Lieutenant General Morten Haga Lunde, Russian submarines regularly appear off the coast of Western countries, but it is enough difficult to detect them.

“We are seeing an increase in Russian submarine activity and that the vessels are moving further west. Meanwhile their submarines have such well-developed technology that they are becoming increasingly difficult to detect,” Lunde said.

According to the Norwegian NRK TV-channel, Russian submarines are virtually silent and equipped with advanced missile systems and hydrojet propulsion systems that make them virtually invisible at low speeds.

In conclusion, Lund noted that there is no reason to consider Norway a target for future attacks of Islamists, but this threat still exists.

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