'Yes' to Swedish Surveillance Law
2008 06 19

From: thelocal.se


Swedish lawmakers voted late on Wednesday in favour of a controversial bill allowing all emails and phone calls to be monitored in the name of national security.

More: Sweden sets sights on new snoop law
Sweden's new wiretapping law 'much worse than the Stasi'

The vote, one of the most divisive in Sweden in recent years, had initially been scheduled for early Wednesday but was postponed after more than one-third of MPs voted to send the bill back to parliament's defence committee "for further preparation."

After the committee required that the centre-right government safeguard individual rights further in an annex to the law to be voted on in the autumn, the bill narrowly passed with 143 votes in favour, 138 opposed and one parliamentarian abstaining.

Critics have slammed the proposal as an attack on civil liberties that would create a "big brother" state, while supporters say it is necessary to protect the country from foreign threats.

The new law, set to take effect on January 1st, 2009, will enable the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) -- a civilian agency despite its name -- to tap all cross-border Internet and telephone communication.

But although the government said only cross-border communications would be monitored, all communications risk getting caught in the net since some internet servers are located abroad and FRA would need to check all emails to determine whether they have crossed the border.

Under the current law, FRA is only allowed to monitor military radio communications.

The Defence Ministry, which hammered out the proposal, insists the new legislation is necessary in today's changed world, where communications are increasingly transmitted through fibre-optic cables.

The government holds a slim seven-seat majority in parliament, and with the left-wing opposition vehemently opposed to the proposal, just four "no" votes within the coalition could have sunk it.

A number of the coalition members had voiced deep concern about the bill before Wednesday's revision was made, while opponents in parliament, along with hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the building, faced a nervy wait for the result.

"This law is rotten to the core. (It) is about violating integrity. Regardless of what words they use, it will do exactly that," one of the demonstrators, 32-year-old Magdalena Berg from Gothenburg, told Swedish public radio.

Critics of the new law, including human rights activists, journalists, lawyers and even the former head of the Swedish intelligence agency Säpo, had before Wednesday's revision argued that it did not go far enough in safeguarding individual rights.

Unlike police, FRA will, for instance, not be required to seek a court order to begin surveillance.

The government on Wednesday insisted it had addressed these concerns with the last-minute revisions to the law that among other things added further independent and parliamentary controls to FRA's work.

Former Säpo chief Anders Eriksson, who currently heads up the Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection, was not impressed.

"I think the law needs to be re-written. It is not enough to create a few checks and balances ... It is the law itself there is something wrong with," he told Swedish radio before the vote.

Article from: http://www.thelocal.se/12534/20080618/

Read more:
Sweden sets sights on new snoop law


Sweden's new wiretapping law 'much worse than the Stasi'



Related Articles
'Orwellian law must be stopped'
Surveillance protesters gather outside Riksdag
stoppafralagen.nu in English
Swedish revolt over 'Big Brother' law


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »