Watching this report from RT might give you the impression that Sweden has until now been spared from the global emerging surveillance society, and if you for a moment were thinking about escaping to Sweden in an effort to escaping Big Brother in your own country, I'm sorry to make you disappointed.
Although this report is focusing on the most recent battle Sweden is having with the EU, there are a few errors in this report that needs to be pointed out. First off, what is not taken into account is the already existing Swedish FRA law. A government snooping system that has been in place since 1st of Januari 2009.
The FRA law is a legislative package that authorizes the state to warrantlessly wiretap all telephone and Internet traffic that crosses Sweden's borders. It was passed by the Parliament of Sweden on June 18, 2008, by a vote of 143 to 138 and took effect on January 1, 2009.
In more detail, "FRA-law" is the common name for a new law as well as several modifications to existing laws, formally called Government proposal 2006/07:63 – Changes to defence intelligence activities. It was introduced as anti-terrorism legislation, and gives the government agency Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA, Swedish Försvarets radioanstalt) the right to conduct signals intelligence on - to intercept - all internet exchange points that exchange traffic that crosses Swedish borders, though experts argue that it is impossible to differentiate between international traffic and traffic between Swedes.
News reports from Sweden's state broadcast network and other sources report that FRA have in fact been conducting eavesdropping on Swedish citizens for a decade. According to the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment's Director-General, Ingvar Åkesson, they destroy the data collected after eighteen months, but they confirm that they have, in fact, been collecting information not just on foreigners but also on Swedes as the presence of Swedish search terms used on the data would indicate.
While it may be true that there is no established CCTV system in operation in Sweden, the number of stores, banks and government buildings that have their own private cameras (that can be accessed by government) is enough to create, if nothing else, the feeling that you're constantly monitored. Meaning, it's really no better then Britain. Who despite numerous reports by the Police has shown that the massive spread of the CCTV system in the UK has failed to slash crime.
Here are some selected articles detailing the already massive Big Brother system that exists in Sweden:
There is furthermore a massive network of surveillance cameras around the roads in Sweden, including speed cameras is not mentioned in the report.
The Goliath beast system of surveillance have most certainly established itself in Sweden already.
The only thing that can make the situation even worse is if the European project Indect becomes a reality.
The European Union is developing a 21st century panopticon, a beast surveillance system that critics describe as “Orwellian,” “sinister,” and “positively chilling,” that would collate data from numerous sources, including surveillance cameras and personal computers, in order to detect “abnormal behavior” across the entire continent.
In a broader sense, this is part of the move towards creating a pan-European federal police force, where information and powers are shared as part of a centralized system. It is also a giant step towards the creation of a European CIA tasked not with keeping tabs on foreign enemies, but spying on its own population.
The surveillance system, known as Project Indect, promises to collect information by way of “continuous monitoring” of “web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p networks [and] individual computer systems”. It will also use CCTV feeds and other surveillance methods to develop models of “suspicious behavior” by analyzing the pitch of people’s voices (suggesting that private conversations will be recorded) as well as “the way their bodies move”.
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