By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
Originally published on June 15, 2020.
The Armed Forces forum writes, based on NTB, that Parliament has now passed the new intelligence law and that it entails that Norwegians’ internet data can now legally be mass stored by the Intelligence Service. This is a law that the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet) claims violates constitutional law.
We wish to clarify that on many occasions, it has been revealed that the police and the intelligence services have broken these old laws and that the laws therefore cannot be seen as any protection for the masses.
The encroachment on privacy was so severe that the Left Party disagreed with its government, but the Progress Party, the Labour Party, and the Centre Party secured a majority in Parliament. The new intelligence law replaces the former law passed in 1998.
The military’s forum writes that the most controversial proposal was to give the intelligence service permission to gather and store electronic communications that cross the Norwegian border – in practice, this accounts for most of the internet usage in Norway. The information that is to be stored includes metadata, like names, dates, times, geographic positioning, and IP addresses. According to the new law, this information is to be stored for 18 months with the goal that the intelligence service will be able to make searches in the information. It is this part of the proposal that the Left Party has dissented to.
To receive permission to make searches in the metadata, the intelligence services must submit a reasoned petition in order to be granted permission from the Oslo court, something that is of course nothing but a formality.
Furthermore, telephone operators are obliged to mirror all electronic traffic in and out of Norway so that the intelligence services can make queries into the data.
The reactionary government writes on the new law:
“The new law will primarily incorporate existing procedure and practice, but new innovations are also proposed. The department proposed, for instance, rules regarding the facilitated gathering of electronic communications that cross borders. The proposal will strengthen Norway’s independent intelligence capacity and our ability to discover and counter-espionage, sabotage, terror activity, and other threats to national security interests.”
As we can see, the law entails no great changes in what the surveillance services are already doing. The rotten state’s government sees this as an important link in their capacity, and as one can see, they have a broad perspective. Not only espionage, sabotage, and terror, but they will also keep an eye open for “other threats”.
On digi.no, IT consultant Eivind Arvesen points out that the EU’s courts have as early as January announced that mass storage of intelligence work is incompatible with European law.
Activists have protested against the new law. Raud Tid has written about demonstrations against mass surveillance in Trondheim after the initiative launched by the organisation “1984 Affinity Group”. One of the initiators tells Raud Tid that:
“The government is in the process of pushing through a proposal that will turn Norway into a surveillance state by gathering and storing all metadata from Norwegian citizens that [through servers] cross national borders, and have attempted to keep this hidden from the media in light of the corona crisis.”
This was one of several demonstrations organized in the city against the new law, and the Struggle Committee (Kampkomiteen) has supported and participated in these along with a number of other organizations and many unaffiliated individuals.
The new law must be seen in connection with the development of society and decay of bourgeois parliamentarianism. The Norwegian state is no exception. The Norwegian government form is just as influenced by the way the world is moving, just as the rest of the Western states. The development is pointing towards corporativism and militarisation, and ultimately, this paves the way for fascism.
The split in the bourgeoisie comes to fruition in the struggle over the development, but the split cannot stop it, only slow it down. The general crisis in imperialism manifests itself in all parts of society, including the political superstructure. This development is not a sign of capitalism’s strength, but rather of its weakness. The system’s contradictions deepen with each passing day, and will ultimately be resolved with revolution. The intelligence services will be the state’s tools against the revolution, but history shows that they are condemned to fail in the long run.
Tjen Folket Media trenger din støtte. Vi får selvsagt ingen pressestøtte eller noen hjelp fra rike kapitalister slik som rasistiske “alternative medier”. All vår støtte kommer fra våre lesere og fra den revolusjonære bevegelsen. Vi er dypt takknemlige for dette. Vi overlever ikke uten, og du kan gjøre ditt bidrag ved å støtte oss med det du kan avse.