Journalists Glenn Greenwald, Sven Bergman and Fredrik Laurin meeting i Rio de Janeiro. Foto: Magnus Persson, SVT

Snowden files reveal Swedish-American surveillance of Russia

Uppdrag granskning ·

Uppdrag granskning (Mission Investigation) and SVT is the first Swedish news outlet to get access to documents concerning Sweden leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who left the American organization for surveillance, NSA (National Security Agency) in May this year.

According to the documents Swedish FRA, Defence Radio Authority, are spying on the political leadership in Russia and passing this information on to the USA. NSA is regarding this intelligence as exclusive, and considers FRA as a leading partner in espionage against Russia.

On site in Rio de Janeiro Mission: Investigation has been cooperating with the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher to investigate Sweden’s part in the American and British global mass surveillance.

Glenn Greenwald met with whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong this year, and received tens of thousands of documents that Snowden extracted  from the NSA. Greenwald is behind a majority of the revelations that has shaken several of the most powerful governments and intelligence organizations in the world throughout the fall of 2013.

Mission: Investigation will, in cooperation with Greenwald and Gallagher, and Swedish Televisions news program: Rapport, publish further exposures and documents that gives a unique insight into Sweden’s role in the global mass surveillance.

Wednesday 11 of December Mission: Investigation will devote a full hour to the Snowden Documents and Sweden.

LEAD-IN (News anchor)

As the first media company, SVT can now expose the information concerning Sweden in the top-secret documents leaked by whistleblower and ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Tonight, Rapport can reveal documents saying that the FRA is spying on the political leadership of Russia, and forwards gathered information to the United States. The NSA sees this intelligence as something thoroughly unique, and considers the FRA to be a leading partner in the espionage on Russia. This is clear to us, after having read several documents provided to us by the programme Uppdrag Granskning.

(News report 1)


For the very first time, we can now read in plain language about the Americans’ view of their very close relation with Swedish Intelligence and its’ signals intelligence agency FRA. Here in Rio de Janeiro, SVT’s programme Uppdrag Granskning meets with journalist Glenn Greenwald who is behind most of the Snowden leaks. Together, our job is to extract, from the unique documents, news concerning Sweden.

Rapport can now reveal that the Unites States regard the FRA as a leading partner in the espionage on Russia – America’s former archenemy. This is what one NSA document says, dated as recently as April 18 of this year:

(Document / Graphics)

“The FRA provided NSA (...) unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics”


Sweden does in fact spy on the top leaders of Russia, and shares our information with the United States. And it’s not any intelligence... but intelligence of such a high value that the Americans write that it cannot be obtained in other ways. They are unique:

(Document / Graphics)

“WHAT Partner provides to NSA

Unique intelligence on Russia”


The FRA’s leading position in the signals intelligence gathering on Russia is established in yet another document; in an instruction to the highest leadership of the NSA prior to a high-level meeting with the FRA. The NSA should:

(Document / Graphics)

“Thank Sweden for its’ continued work on the Russian target, and underscore the primary role that FRA plays as a leading partner to work the Russian Target, including Russian leadership, (:::) and (...) counterintelligence. FRA’s cable access has resulted in unique SIGINT reporting on all of these areas.

When SVT:s reporter shows the documents to FRA spokesperson Fredrik Wallin and asks if they are accurate he replies ”no comment”.

– Sadly I am unable to comment on this information. We are unable to comment details about our collaborations or intelligence operations, says FRA spokesperson Fredrik Wallin.

The NSA gives the following comment in writing:

“We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and the US government has made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations”


Filip Struwe

Glenn Greenwald

Ryan Gallagher

Sven Bergman

Joachim Dyfvermark

Fredrik Laurin

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