Sweden's new wiretapping law 'much worse than the Stasi'
2008 06 17

By Rickard Falkvinge | thelocal.se


With just a week to go (published June 10th) before the Swedish parliament is expected to pass a controversial wiretapping law, Pirate Party leader Rickard Falkvinge urges people to do all they can to block the legislation.

On June 17th the Swedish parliament is set to vote on the introduction of a new "signal surveillance" law.

What the law means is that all telephone and internet operators will be forced to attach a large cable to the state's supercomputer, where the state will be able to keep a record of everything said in telephone conversations, surfed on the web or written on the internet.

The law can best be described by the more explanatory term "general surveillance". Instead of just criminal suspects having their phones tapped, now everyone will be tapped via their phones, emails, web surfing, faxes etc.

But the state won't keep a record of everything. First it will scan all phone calls, emails and so on, in real time. Anything that is "considered interesting" on the basis of 250,000 search criteria, will be saved for further investigation.

All our phone calls, emails and surfing habits will be observed by Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment (Försvarets Radioanstalt - FRA), which is why the proposed legislation is known as the "FRA law".

There are no courts involved, and the government and all its agencies - including the police and the security police - will be able to snoop around in the tapped phone and email correspondence of its citizens.

This is much, much worse than the East German Stasi, which was only capable of tapping a small sector of the population. This is also something that has been pointed out by German members of parliament with first-hand experience of the Stasi.

Proponents of the law say it "only concerns cross-border communications". Unfortunately this is a bare-faced lie. Records of communications will be kept at 20 nodal points, strategically placed to capture all communications that cross Sweden's borders. But any internal communications that happen to come into contact with any one of these nodes will also be analyzed by the state. Essentially this means that everyone will be affected since, for technical reasons, most phone calls and emails between two Swedes pass through another country.

Proponents say that "this has absolutely nothing to do with Swedes; FRA isn't allowed to investigate Swedes if there is no substantial cause". This is a dishonest formulation. Another way of saying exactly the same thing would be: "FRA may snoop on Swedes as part of this mass wiretapping scheme if certain criteria are met". In fact, the entire statement is dishonest, since the legislation up for debate only concerns signal surveillance for the military. What these people don't mention is that the FRA already carries out surveillance for the police using exactly the same staff and the same wiretapping network.

Proponents say that "only a very small amount of information will be listened to", and refer to the pieces of information that will be sifted out for further examination. This is also a direct lie. Everything will be listened to. Whatever information is then selected for further examination is irrelevant; the violation of personal integrity occurs when the state gives itself access to its citizens' private communications, not when one of the search terms it uses to filter the data happens to match.

Democracy is reliant on the transparency of power, not the transparency of citizens. All places where the opposite has been the case - where it has been impossible to examine the powers that be, while citizens lack any right to a private life - have been really nasty places to live.

Signal surveillance is supposed to protect us against external threats. In reality, however, it is the surveillance itself that constitutes a direct threat against Swedish democracy.

Aftonbladet has written about the law today (the first time old media have really contributed to the debate). Unfortunately they present the proponents' propaganda as fact. Proponents of the law have shown themselves to be completely unreliable. On May 31st I put forward evidence [in Swedish] showing that they know they are breaking the constitution but they just don't care.

The Pirate Party has long campaigned for the right to a private life. For example, we held a demonstration in central Stockholm recently demanding the right to civil liberties and for an end to all plans for general surveillance.

A campaign site has just gone online called stoppafralagen.nu (Stop the FRA law) with more information about this draconian piece of legislation.

It's high time to get involved. Write to your local member of parliament, talk to friends and acquaintances about what's happening. Anything. Just do something. Before it's too late.

Article from: http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=12334&print=true



Related Articles
Sweden sets sights on new snoop law
'Big brother' surveillance makes waves in Sweden
Mikael Odenberg's PreCrime - "Preventive bugging" in Sweden
Orwellian Ubiquitous Computing May Build Ultimate Surveillance Society (Video)
Big Brother is watching us all
DARPA's ISIS Project Seeks Slow, Soaring Surveillance Superiority
Problem - Reaction - Solution
Parliament debates email tapping bill
Sigfrid defies party over surveillance
Dissenters put snoop vote on knife edge
Sweden sets sights on new snoop law


Latest News from our Front Page

Bad Memories Turned to Happy Ones in Mice Brains
2014 09 01
Memories are often associated with emotions, and these feelings can change through new experiences and over time. Now, using light, scientists have been able to manipulate mice brain cells and turn the animals’ fearful memories into happy ones, according to a new study. Memories are encoded in groups of neurons that are activated together or in specific patterns, but it is ...
CIA MKULTRA: they intended to use drugs for “everything”
2014 09 01
Drugs to transform individuals…and even, by implication, society. Drug research going far beyond the usual brief descriptions of MKULTRA. The intention is there, in the record. A CIA document was included in the transcript of the 1977 US Senate Hearings on MKULTRA, the CIA’s mind-control program. The document is found in Appendix C, starting on page 166. It’s simply labeled “Draft,” dated 5 May ...
Harmful Compound Found in Many BPA-Free Bottles
2014 09 01
A chemical found in many products labeled “BPA free” may produce many of the same health problems as the original chemical, including hyperactivity and cardiac arrhythmia, according to a pair of studies presented recently at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago. “BPS, termed the safe alternative to BPA, may be equally as ...
Can Germany turn its back on USA? No, it can’t
2014 09 01
After the division of Germany into two German states, the western part of the country was raped by allies-occupants, while the Soviets got the eastern part. The Soviet Union did not end its existence, when Soviet leaders blessed the Germans for unification and promised to withdraw troops from the territory of the GDR. The troops were withdrawn practically nowhere, as ...
Left and their big fat multi-cultural lie
2014 08 30
Picture the scene; a taxi is pulled over by an officer from South Yorkshire Police who finds a half-naked 12-year-old in the back of the cab so drunk or drugged that she can hardly stand. When interviewed, the taxi driver is found to have pornographic pictures of the girl on his phone. The officer hands back the phone and – no ...
More News »