PST: Sandberg’s mobile phone most likely compromised
According to the Police’s Secret Service (PST), it is «likely» that Per Sandberg’s security breach has provided foreign e-services with information. Prime Minister Erna Solberg writes this in a letter to the Norwegian Parliament.
Aftenposten quotes further from the letter:
– PST estimates that a Norwegian Cabinet Minister is a high-ranking intelligence target for both Iran and China. Based on this, it is likely that security breaches have made information available to unauthorized actors, Prime Minister Erna Solberg (Conservatives) writes in a reply to the Parliament’s Control and Constitution Committee.
PST assesses the risk stemming from that Per Sandberg ignored the security instructions and brought his service phone to China and Iran as «high», the letter states.
Had to resign
Per Sandberg resigned as Minister of Fisheries in August after it became known that he had brought his work phone on a private holiday trip to Iran. It has also been discovered that he has used the same mobile phone while travelling to China.
In the wake of the Sandberg case, the Control Committee asked Prime Minister Erna Solberg a number of questions regarding the security surrounding the use of mobile phones by the Government. A unanimous committee agreed to send nine questions regarding the Sandberg case to the Prime Minister’s office.
The committee wished for, inter alia, to have answers to what professional assessments the Government has obtained from the security authorities in connection with Per Sandberg’s travels to Iran and China, how PST considered the risk of Sandberg bringing the same service phone to China and Iran, and what measures the Prime Minister would implement to prevent similar security breaches in the future.
The committee also asked questions related to several state secretaries’ travel to high-risk countries, where it was revealed that they brought their work phone, as well.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg emphasizes that her response is based on information from the involved ministries and PST. It is revealed that several politicians, such as Labour Leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, former Minister of Labour, Hanne Bjurstrøm, former Centre Party Leader and Cabinet Minister, Liv Signe Navarsete, also have both brought and used their service phone in high-risk countries.
In some cases, the incident is six to seven years back in time, and there were not as strict safety regulations in place as is the case today, Aftenposten writes.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today