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No pledges from Sweden on email snooping

Norway has received no assurances from Sweden that it will not monitor and record the country's phone and internet traffic, despite a high-level meeting on Tuesday.

No pledges from Sweden on email snooping
Demonstration in 2008 against the law allowing Sweden's Defence Radio Authority (FRA) to monitor internet and phone traffic - Henrik Ström
Norway's transport minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen on Tuesday met Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, Sweden's minister for infrastructure, partly to air concerns raised by documents leaked by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US's National Security Agency. 
 
"I expressed my concerns to the Swedish Minister. We do not like the idea that Sweden's defence authorities bug Norwegian data traffic," Solvik-Olsen told state broadcaster NRK. 
 
But he said that he had received no pledge to end any monitoring activity. 
 
"We should be cautious about making demands of other countries,"  Solvik-Olsen explained. "When things go too fast, you hit deadlocks. The important thing is to find practical solutions that support Norwegian needs better than today." 
 
In 2008, Sweden brought in the FRA law, which gave the Swedish armed forces full access to Norwegian communications crossing the border into Sweden. 
 
As almost all Norwegian internet traffic is routed through Sweden, this allows them to monitor almost all emails and web searches. 
 
In 2012, Sweden's intelligence agency SAPO, and the Swedish police's National Criminal Investigation Service were also given access. 
 

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday 

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Monday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday 
Oslo Operahus. Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Norwegian government to unveil more details around Covid certificate 

On Monday, the government will issue guidelines on how exactly its Covid-19 certificate will be used domestically.

At 3pm, the government will hold a press conference where they will reveal more about how the Covid-19 certificates will work.

The certificate launched on Friday, but so far, the government have been sparing with details on how it will be used. 

READ MORE: Explained: How to access Norway’s Covid-19 certificate 

They have, however, revealed the certificate would be used for access to large events as well as tours and cruises within Norway. 

We will have all the details on how the certificate will be used covered in an article later today. 

Ministry of Defence: No signs of espionage 

There is no evidence to suggest that Danish data cables were used to actively spy on Norwegian politicians by the US, Defence Minister Frank Bakke Jensen has told parliament. 

At the end of May, Danmarks Radio reported that the US used Danish data cables to spy on politicians across Europe. 

“These are serious allegations that the government takes very seriously. Based on what we know, it does not look like there has been activity (espionage) directed at Norwegian politicians,” Jensen said in a statement. 

READ MORE: Norway summons US embassy top official over spying claims 

“Systematic espionage is completely unacceptable. We are clear to the Danish and American authorities about this. We are also in active dialogue with Danish and American authorities and services about the information regarding this matter,” he added. 

One in ten Norwegians plan summer holiday abroad 

Only ten percent of respondents to a new survey have said they plan on going on holiday abroad this summer. 

According to the survey by employer organisation, Virke, the majority, 60 percent, said that their travel plans have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fewer children are being adopted from abroad in Norway 

In 2020, 46 children were adopted from abroad in Norway, half the number of foreign adoptions compared to 2019.

According to new figures from Statistics Norway, the number of foreign children being adopted in Norway is also less than 10 percent of what it was in 1998 when 795 foreign adoptions were registered. 

A total of 243 adoptions were recorded in Norway last year, almost 100 less than the year before. 

One of the reasons fewer foreign children are being adopted is that countries that have previously released children for adoption abroad can now take care of these children themselves, according to Statistics Norway.

96 new coronavirus cases

On Sunday, 96 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Norway, 89 fewer than the seven-day average of 185. 

Fewer cases tend to be registered on weekends and public holidays than on weekdays. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 0.9. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another nine people, indicating that the infection level is declining.

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH
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