Ingvar Åkesson said he did not wish to upset his trading partners by revealing their identities. He would only say that FRA dealt exclusively with democratic states.
“Often we have information that could also be of interest to other countries. If we then share it, we can get information in return that is of benefit to leading state figures in Sweden but that we have not managed to get hold of ourselves,” he told Dagens Nyheter.
Åkesson would not comment on reports that the main purpose of a controversial new surveillance law was to gather data crossing Sweden’s borders on its way to and from Russia.
He did however reiterate his insistence that FRA would not carry out surveillance on Swedish citizens. FRA’s aim, he said, was to help ward off cyber attacks, hinder the distribution of weapons of mass destruction and discover threats directed at the Swedish Armed Forces abroad.