FRA has a long history of spying on Swedes

By EDRi · July 30, 2008

The Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment FRA that has made the
headlines last month with its law on spying on all communication, has
recently announced that it has reported a blogger to the Chancellor of
Justice for distributing what they consider classified material proving
the Agency was spying on Swedes starting with 1996.

Henrik Alexandersson is the name of the blogger that criticized the new FRA
surveillance law. He published two lists of FRA’s alleged
classified material on his blog. The first document is a list of 103 Swedish
citizens that were under surveillance in the early 90’s for having contacts
with Russia. The other publication is a list of connections between Russian
and Swedish corporations from 1996, which may imply that FRA was illegally
listening to cable bound traffic.

According to FRA’s director-general Ingvar Åkesson all surveillance material
regarding personal acts are destroyed after 18 months, although these
documents imply that this isn’t the fact.

Alexandersson explained on his blog that he was not worried about FRA’s
complaint: “My comment is that it seems that FRA is trying to scare and
threaten me to silence. This is something I won’t accept. The documents stay
on the blog.”

“They want to shift focus from how they misbehaved to chopping the head off
of the messenger. I don’t think that they see the PR-related difficulties
with going out and trying to throw a blogger in prison.” he added in a
declaration for Medievärlden.

On the other hand, one of the people on the list made public by
Alexandersson has reported FRA to the Chancellor of Justice claiming that he
was under illegal surveillance in the 1990s for doing business with Russia.

FRA is still under pressure following its new legislation that broadens
substantially its powers to intercept data in the area of Internet
communications. The answer to a written question from MEP Benoît Hamon shows
that the Commission has not been informed so far by Sweden regarding this
normative act.

FRA: 103 intercepted Swedes (only in Swedish, 18.07.2008)

Evidence that the FRA has already spy of cable? (only in Swedish,

FRA reports blogger to Justice Chancellor (28.07.2008)

FRA stores Swedish telephone calls and e-mails (only in Swedish, 24.06.2008)

WRITTEN QUESTION by Benoît Hamon (PSE) to the Commission
Subject: Swedish Government plan to broaden the remit of the intelligence
agency FRA(17.06.2008)

EDRi-gram: ENDitorial: Sweden is listening to all internet and phone

(contribution by Josef Andersson – Sweden)