Friday, September 26, 2008

Big Changes for Sweden's Wiretapping Law

Sweden's governing parties have agreed on a new proposal that would drastically alter the FRA law (FRA-lagen), Sweden's extensive wiretapping measure, set to go into effect on January 1st. The changes still need to be voted on but critics of the surveillance law say they are encouraged by the changes proposed, which involve who may acquire data obtained from emails (and all Internet traffic) and phone calls crossing Swedish borders and how that private information can be obtained. The changes alter the law so that only the Swedish government and Swedish Armed Forces may request the tapped data and that a court order would be required to receive the data. The revised law is expected to be introduced in Parliament this fall.

Some critics continue to argue that the latest changes are purely cosmetic. But Sweden's center-right Alliance government, which announced the changes, says the country now has a completely new version of the law to work with that should satisfy privacy rights activists and most of the critics opposed to the version of the law approved by Swedish Parliament on June 18th. Supporters of the revised form of the FRA law say its new safeguards mean there will be no more talk of "mass surveillance” in Sweden.

And if you haven't seen the online documentary on the fight against Sweden's wiretapping law yet, you are encouraged to visit

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Update: No official action on the amended FRA-law will be taken until February 27, meaning the original version of the extensive wiretapping law goes into effect on New Year's Day 2009.