Cross-border wiretapping proposed by the Swedish Government

By EDRi · March 14, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Mikael Odenberg, the Swedish defence minister presented on 8 March 2007 a
draft law to the parliament that would give the national defence
intelligence agency the power to monitor all cross-border phone calls and
email traffic without court order.

The proposal, which according to the government, is meant to combat
terrorism and other threats to national security, would allow the National
Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) to use computer software to search for
sensitive keywords in all cross-border phone and e-mail communications.

Although the Government states that this would affect only a small part of
the electronic communications and that communication exchanged between
Swedes will be filtered, critics are concerned that this proposal is too far
reaching, being among the most advanced in Europe. They consider it is
impossible to eliminate from this programme private communications between
Swedes as e-mails are often routed via a server abroad.

Even SAPO, the national security police agency, has criticized the proposal,
considering it violates personal integrity.

The Swedish Legislative Council, with some suggestions for amendments,
especially related to FRA and its monitoring, has given its approval on the
governmental proposal encouraging the defence minister to continue his

“I am now going to continue preparing a proposal. The first thing I will do
is to contact the Social Democrats and consult with them as to how best to
apply the Legislative Council’s constructive suggestions,” stated Odenberg.

Thomas Bodstroem, head of the opposition Social Democrats, accused the
defense minister of trying to “cover up” the fact that, in the future, the
military would have a similar role in fighting crime as that of the police
and that FRA, unlike the police, would not need a court order to begin the

“We have to ask the question: Do we want this change, and if we do,
shouldn’t we carry out a thorough examination first,” said Bodstroem.

A 12-month delay in discussing the draft law can be obtained by the vote of
60 out of the 349 members of Sweden’s parliament, since it is a proposition
limiting freedoms and rights of individuals. However, Bodstroem said the
Social Democrats had not yet decided whether they would go for a delay and
that they would examine the proposal closely before taking any decision.

Sweden proposes giving intelligence agency broad new powers (8.03.2007)

Sweden edges closer to bugging (9.03.2007)

Sweden proposes extensive wiretapping programme (8.03.2007)