The Swedish equalivent of NSA (called FRA), is proposed to be allowed to do monitoring of all Internet traffic to and from Sweden. This has raised some criticism and hopefully the proposed law will not pass. However the head of the FRA has publicity in media announced that this is widely misunderstood, because they only want to listen in on the “suspicious foreign types” (translated quote), not the good old honest Swedes.
He also claims that they only listens, and filter most of it. But, well, FRA acts on order from the security police, the police force, the military and other government agencies and they decide what to filter not the FRA. Also most foreign traffic will not be distinguishable from domestic (peering between operators are often done on European basis). And I would be surprised if government agencies in different countries wouldn’t exchange surveillance information and services (Country A may not allow collecting traffic on their citizens or residents, but Country B might, and vice versa).
This is just after Police has been working to get the authority to monitor Internet traffic on a more widespread basis, this was introduced by the former Minsitor of Justice (Socialdemocrat), Tomas Bodstrom, which also caused some controversy, but that was dismissed by the former Social Democratic government as nonsense, and Tomas Bodstrom even said in an interview that he even does not use e-mail that much (so of course he will not be worried about privacy)! Tomas Bodstrom also claimed at that time that the monitoring would be limited, and only for people suspected of serious crimes (he often managed to disguise that fact that the law also allows for wire-tap of anybody that been in contact with somebody that’s suspected, an e-mail is enough, and we all know that we do not know to be associated with somebody to get mail from them…).
Tomas Bodstrom is now raising the concern that the FRA and military will get the same authority as the police, which also means that he admits indirectly that the wire-tap laws that he was working to pass (in Sweden and EU), gives maybe more authority than he has claimed previously.
- Swedish Radio website – https://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/ekot/artikel.asp?Artikel=1240436
- Head of FRA Interview – https://computersweden.idg.se/2.2683/1.9501