Surveillance Law Gives Sweden Broad Powers

No warrant needed for cross-border phone, e-traffic; foes outraged
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 3:52 PM CDT
"The Swedish government is following the examples set by governments ranging from China and Saudi Arabia to the US government's highly criticized eavesdropping program," one critic said.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sweden's intelligence service will have broad new powers to intercept cross-border calls and emails, without a warrant, under a law passed yesterday, the BBC reports. Critics, meanwhile, say it is impossible to fully distinguish domestic from international traffic without compromising the transmissions. Protesters handed out copies of George Orwell's 1984 outside parliament, the AP notes.

A former head of Saepo, the intelligence service, said the law failed to adequately protect privacy rights: "I think the law needs to be re-written. It is not enough to create a few checks and balances," Anders Eriksson said. "It is the law itself, there is something wrong with it."