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Wiretapping Bill Passes Swedish Parliament, 143 to 138 326

Posted by timothy
from the henceforth-it's-orkbay-orkbay dept.
Assar Bruno Boveri writes "Swedish lawmakers came down in favour of a fiercely debated surveillance bill in a vote at the Riksdag on Wednesday evening. Despite some cosmetic changes, Sweden's proposed surveillance law is still a monster, writes Pär Ström from the independent New Welfare Foundation." The Swedish newspaper DN (in Swedish; translations welcome) compares the implications of the proposed law with activities carried out by East Germany's Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (STASI).
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Wiretapping Bill Passes Swedish Parliament, 143 to 138

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by oahazmatt (868057) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:12PM (#23845475) Journal
    There was considerable outrage among the Swedish. One vocal protestor was quoted as stating: "B'york b'york! Mmb'york york burdy hurdy m'yurdy!"
  • Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:14PM (#23845485)
    there has to be at least one country out there that cares about the people, right?

    Right?

    Hello? Anyone there?
  • by Rod76 (705840) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:15PM (#23845517)
    This is sure to have some interesting effects on The Pirate Bay. I wonder if there was any **AA money's or support in getting this passed.
  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:16PM (#23845547) Journal
    google translate sweedish is *right there*
    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dn.se%2FDNet%2Fjsp%2Fpolopoly.jsp%3Fd%3D2502%26a%3D794124&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=sv&tl=en
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JCSoRocks (1142053)
      It's also helpful for people that can't read Swedish.
    • Well, copy&paste on URLs is a bitch, especially for long URLs which get mangled. Could you please read about an invention called the hyperlink [wikipedia.org]?

      Here's an example [google.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by wizardforce (1005805)
        you mean you're not using the linkification extension or selecting the text and dragging it to open in a new tab?
    • by omglolbah (731566) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:22PM (#23846495)
      A slightly better translation.
      Done by a human! :D

      In two days, on wednesday, it is expected that Riksdagen will give the swedish intelligence service the right to scan all email, sms and telephone traffic that passes swedish borders. Christop Andersson is reminded of the surveillance in the old DDR and poses questions regarding privacy.

      In the east-german security-police archive are shelves of yellow, redish or dark brown files. The total length of which is 110 miles. Here there are transcripts of regular east-german telephone conversations and long logs of people's phone use with timestamps. Especially interesting to Stasi was the telephone traffic across the east-german borders.

      The giant system of surveillance had as a purpose to protect "Democracy" in DDR against "hostile negative forces" and "terrorism". The threats gave Stasi the right to check up on everyone.

      Since 1989 the Stasi is gone. Yet, a similar but perhaps worse system of surveillance is about to be created. This time in Sweden. For this purpose the Forsvarets Radioanstalt (FRA) has aquired a monster computer worth millions of SEK according to Computer Sweden. It is expected to get company in the near years.

      With help of the computers FRA will scan through all emails, all sms and all telephone calls that cross swedish borders. Every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Just like in the old DDR the purpose is to prevent "terrorism" and prevent outer threats against society.

      The system will be fed search-word both in Swedish and other languages. Further the FRA will search after text strings with randomly selected words and numbers.

      Encryption, the defense minister closest man state secretary(?) HÃ¥kan Javrell in a video interview shown at the group "Gravande journalisters"(investigating/digging journalists) seminar in Gotenburg in april.

      In the interview he makes it clear that mail with encrypted contents are of special interest to the FRA. Possible terrorists would likely not use clear-text naming of where they will strike and with what sort of force. Supposedly encryption applications like PGP are hard to break but with one or more computers in the million SEK range it will be possible to break everything from encrypted love-letters to journalist correspondance with protected sources. The latter is protected by constitutional rights. FRA can not know anything about the content before the encryption is broken. Thus a catch-22 is created. In practice the constitutional paragraph regarding protection of sources worthless.

      The only thing required for the green light for FRA is the approval of Riksdagen for "En anpassad forsvarsunderettelsestjenst". "An adjusted defense intelligence service". Behind the inocious title is a breach of swedish privacy without comparison in the swedish history. FRA will not just search for terrorism but will also search for "forsorjingskriser", ecological imbalance, threats to the environment, ethnical and religious conflicts, large scale refugee and migration and economic cases like currency and interest rate speculation. The mind wanders back to the Stasi system of surveilance.

      At the same time HÃ¥kan Javrell and the right wing politicians promise that the public has nothing to fear. The only traffic that will be scanned is the traffic that crosses the swedish border and not traffic inside the country. The problem is just that even email within the country will pass the border. Partially because businesses and organizations use foreign email-servers, partially because email does not heed borders. The email between Lulea and Malmo could just as well go through the US if there is available bandwidth.

      Stricly by the rules any information gathered from in-country traffic should immediately be destroyed if it is cought in FRA's net. The problem here is that there is no way for FRA to know if the data is covered by this rule.

      Further vagueness in the proposed law conserns the protection of sources in
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Narpak (961733)

        In the interview he makes it clear that mail with encrypted contents are of special interest to the FRA. Possible terrorists would likely not use clear-text naming of where they will strike and with what sort of force. Supposedly encryption applications like PGP are hard to break but with one or more computers in the million SEK range it will be possible to break everything from encrypted love-letters to journalist correspondance with protected sources. The latter is protected by constitutional rights. FRA can not know anything about the content before the encryption is broken. Thus a catch-22 is created. In practice the constitutional paragraph regarding protection of sources worthless.

        Well lets all send lots of emails encrypted with the best avalible methods, and lets make sure that the text we encrypt is just random letters and numbers. If they are going to monitor our traffic at the very least we can do our best to flood the system with crap.

        • Bah, just write in Latin, or some ancient Chinese dialect, or anything that will take a lot of effort to find a translator for.

          There was a famous Cold War story about a father and son, one in Soviet Russia, the other having escaped to the West. Both spoke Latin well. When they'd get together on the phone, they'd pass all the political news in Latin. By the time the state snoops found someone who could understand them, they'd already finished with the forbidden topics and gone on to mundane subjects.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Fred_A (10934)

        Supposedly encryption applications like PGP are hard to break but with one or more computers in the million SEK range it will be possible to break everything from encrypted love-letters to journalist correspondance with protected sources.

        "Supposedly" ? Has there been some kind of advance in mathematics I'm not aware of ? Or have computers suddenly gotten insanely faster ? Or do Swedish politicians expect to live for centuries ?

        The best thing to do would be a huge campaign to promote high grade encryption all over the country IMO.
        There are lots of vocal activists that could start this kind of thing.

        Then the listeners can "supposedly" feel free to try and decrypt all that crud. It'll give their expensive servers something to do.

  • Okay, I'm trying to figure this out. This is Reverse Sweden, right? Not the regular Sweden?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This is what happens when countries vote in right-wing governments. Yes, that's right. Sweden has a right-wing government. Maybe not by US standards, but certainly by European standards.
      • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Informative)

        by init100 (915886) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:39PM (#23845863)

        This is what happens when countries vote in right-wing governments.

        Actually not. This bill was originally created by the previous Social Democrat administration (which was supported by the Green Party and the Left Party), while the current administration voted against the bill in parliament. Pretty quickly after gaining being voted into power, the current administration resurrected the scrapped social democrat proposal as their own, and put it before parliament. The opposition (the previous administration) used a law that enabled them to defer a decision for one year, and voted against the proposal today.

        The only reason for the opposition's no-vote seem to be that they would prefer to vote it into law when they are in power themselves.

        • Re:Wha? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by regebro (636069) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:43PM (#23846751) Homepage
          Not so. They vote no, because they no the public does not want this. They are EXTREMELY happy that the centre-right goverment takes the hit for this, otherwise they would have to.

          The socialists will now complain about this law all they way into goverment after the next election, when they will....do exactly nothing about it.

          Just as with everything else they complain about.
          That's swedish politics for you.
          • by aliquis (678370)
            + 9.045.000

            Both sides can come up with ideas which don't fit their political profile and both sides will just vote against whatever the other side said even if it actually fit their own ideals and so on.

            If that wasn't true how could you else say "But hey, it's all their fault! Look how bad it become!"
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Not so. They vote no, because they no the public does not want this. They are EXTREMELY happy that the centre-right goverment takes the hit for this, otherwise they would have to.

            The socialists will now complain about this law all they way into goverment after the next election, when they will....do exactly nothing about it.

            Just as with everything else they complain about.
            That's swedish politics for you.

            Actually, this sounds astonishingly similar to American politics. Note, the Democratic Congress hasn't made any attempt to repeal the much-reviled Patriot Act or stop the war in Iraq, both of which they rode into office on...

        • by aliquis (678370)
          More likely that the only thing they do are to say against eachother instead of the actual idea. That's politics for you!

          Not that I can understand why the left side wanted this crap either, probably because of that (personal preference:) prick Thomas Bodström.
          Some of this work: http://bodstrom.pelpet.com/ [pelpet.com]

          Especially the liberals went to election with lots of talk about more police resources and surveillance.

          Quite funny actually how it's their side doing this considering how much bullshit they have proba
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Heather D (1279828)
          This is a textbook example of the continuing breakdown of the old right vs. left political structure. It's been known (by those aware enough to care) for years that the most significant difference between the two is that they oppose each other in which special interests they favor.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Oh right, the old "the social democrats started it!" excuse. Some of the right-wing politicians who passed this law actually used that one as a reason for not opposing it. While the observation is factually correct, it is not a valid reason to pass bad laws.

          And as for your statement that "The opposition (the previous administration) used a law that enabled them to defer a decision for one year", that was done by the green party + the left party + the christian democrats. To refer to that as "the opposition"
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by init100 (915886)

            Oh right, the old "the social democrats started it!" excuse. Some of the right-wing politicians who passed this law actually used that one as a reason for not opposing it. While the observation is factually correct, it is not a valid reason to pass bad laws.

            You obviously misunderstood my point. I did not excuse passing bad laws because the current opposition created it, I just observed that this bill would likely have been passed regardless of administration, simply because it was supported by both the alliance and the social democrats.

            And as for your statement that "The opposition (the previous administration) used a law that enabled them to defer a decision for one year", that was done by the green party + the left party + the christian democrats.

            I read in several articles that this was done by the social democrats, the left and the greens. If I was wrong, I'm sorry for that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tege (687436)
        You surely are aware that this law in its original form was proposed by social democrats. This law would have been passed by any ruling party, with protest coming only from real lefties. The right-wing parties sold old tonight. I always believed in the moderate party's talk about individual freedom et.c. But not after tonight. Not anymore. We don't need neo-cons in Sweden. We need real conservatives or neo-liberals that can stand up for basic ideas like individual freedom. But tonight I'm with you. Thanks
      • Re:Wha? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:53PM (#23846071) Journal

        This is what happens when countries vote in right-wing governments. Yes, that's right. Sweden has a right-wing government. Maybe not by US standards, but certainly by European standards.
        Yes! And the far left wing governments, like those in Soviet Russia, China, and Cuba are known for their championing of civil rights.

        Hell, even the left wing states like California, where they want the government to control the thermostat in your own home are known for their personal freedom records.
        • Re:Wha? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:12PM (#23846371) Journal

          This is what happens when countries vote in right-wing governments. Yes, that's right. Sweden has a right-wing government. Maybe not by US standards, but certainly by European standards.
          Yes! And the far left wing governments, like those in Soviet Russia, China, and Cuba are known for their championing of civil rights.

          Hell, even the left wing states like California, where they want the government to control the thermostat in your own home are known for their personal freedom records.
          Only on slashdot, does the truth get modded troll.

          I think this exchange is proof that RightBad=Insightful and LeftBad=Troll in the minds of some mods.

          Remember, the first part of freedom is tolerating those that have different opinions than yourself and even defending their right to have those opinions. When I get downmodded for something like this, it proves to me that regardless of all the talk, /.'ers don't give a rat's ass about freedom of speech unless the speech agrees with them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

            I think this exchange is proof that RightBad=Insightful and LeftBad=Troll in the minds of some mods.

            Since mods are just regular people who have posted a few times, or even just meta-moderated sometimes, all you have done is say, "a handful of people out of the hundreds of thousands with accounts on slashdot hold simplistic political beliefs."

            Wow! Keen fucking insight there. If it weren't for your magnificent pontification no one would have ever thought things worked like that. You should be on TV! Have you considered applying for Tim Russert's old job?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by AshtangiMan (684031)
            I didn't mod GP, but the part that strikes me as the "troll" is the part where you call California left wing, just after the extreme left wing examples above, as if somehow California is left wing in the same way that soviet Russia was. To me that is a troll, because the implicit comparison is invalid. It does very little towards having an informed and informing conversation. Both extremes (left and right) are obviously bad, but in the US and in the Slashdot community there seems to be a name calling men
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            I think this exchange is proof that RightBad=Insightful and LeftBad=Troll in the minds of some mods.

            And now look, your comments are both at +4 Insightful. I'd say that's proof that complaining about phony liberal bias is insightful in the minds of some mods.

            You got modded down for comparing "left wing" California to the "left wing" USSR, China, and Cuba, as if those countries are even on the same political spectrum as the US. Then you got modded back up, a net positive, for whining about the moderation. Does that mean the system works?

      • Re:Wha? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Wildclaw (15718) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:13PM (#23846387)
        Not right wing, authoritarian.

        The two biggest parties in Sweden, the right wing Moderates and the left wing Social Democrates are both authoritarian.

        And several other parties have authoritarian pressure coming from their party tops.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Markspark (969445)
        yeah, and it's what happens when 67 people decided not to go vote, because they had more important stuff to do, like finding lint in the bellybutton or something, one fifth of Riksdagen (the ruling organ) decided not to even show up and vote. It's a slap in the face of the public..
  • I got an idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:18PM (#23845579)
    As a Swedish citizen, I'm thinking of doing the following idea;

    Put up a couple of SMTP servers, and creating a script that makes them email each other unprotected emails in plain text with headers like "bomb" "nuclear bomb" "jihad" "destroy the Swedish government" "bomb assembly guide" "kill Fredrik Reinfeldt"

    If the government intend to fuck me with, I fully intend to fuck with them back.
    • by scubamage (727538)
      I like this idea. Since the government is already spying on everything we type in the US, I'd love to set up one of these SMTP bots to help with the flooding.
    • by Znork (31774)
      The ole keyword overload is probably something they filter against; they probably run some linguistic structure scan for valid sentances.

      In order of increasing annoyance level I'd suggest you follow these procedures:
      a) Use a Slavic or Arab sounding email address. Then use GPG to encrypt the content (suggested content: How much did it cost the taxpayers to let you read this?).
      b) Run a TOR node to encourage encrypted comms passing their way.
      c) Start an ABF (workers education union) class on how regular users
    • Actually a sound idea. The best couter against spying is overloading the system with false positives, so they can't discriminate anymore between noise and data.

      I'd use other keywords, though. Like "crack", "decss", $new_movie_name...
  • by Knara (9377)
    How does judicial review compare in Sweden to the way it works in the US?
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Informative)

      by SwedishPenguin (1035756) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:41PM (#23845883)
      There is no constitutional court in Sweden. The law can be tried in the European Court of Justice though. So if the law, as has been claimed, violates the European Convention it can be still be overturned.

      Also the left party and the green party wants to rip up the law when power shifts (the right-wing government isn't very popular right now and this isn't going to make them any more popular), the question is if the social democrats will agree to that.

      This is truly the worst behaviour of any Swedish government I've seen yet. The government didn't really have any arguments for the law, just the general "The terriorists are coming to get you" propaganda.

      To add to that, the law was voted to go back to committe this morning, and by nightfall, the "new" law, with minor modifications was passed.

      The Left Party made an official complaint about the law and the government to the constiutional committe, but it would appear that they didn't do what they should have.

      Right now there are two parties in parliament that I can trust. That would be the left party and the green party. The social democrats won't say no to wiretapping, they just said no to this specific proposition. The left and green parties and some great people up there debating against this and really kicking right-wing ass, not that it mattered in the end.

      The only right-wing party where some members had the courage to stand up to this proposition was Folkpartiet (aka Peoples Liberal Party, though I certainly wouldn't call them very liberal after this), where one member voted no and one abstained.
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by init100 (915886) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:51PM (#23846059)

        Right now there are two parties in parliament that I can trust. That would be the left party and the green party.

        On this matter, there is only one party that I trust, and that is the Pirate Party. They might be most well-known for their views on non-commercial file-sharing and copyright laws, but they also have really sane views on protection of privacy, something I care a lot about.

    • Re:So... (Score:4, Informative)

      by init100 (915886) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:45PM (#23845971)

      You mean like a constitutional court? We don't have one. The only instance that vaguely resembles one is the joke that is the Committee on the Constitution [wikipedia.org]. They have no power to rule any law as unconstitutional, they just argue among themselves with no actual results.

      Ironically, the current administration has actually argued for setting up a constitutional court when they were in opposition. When they were voted into power, those arguments seemed to be forgotten.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'd say "Not at all." We do not have a Court of Constitution first of all, but an incredibly pointless "committee" usually used as a stage for political bickering, all seats being proportionally dispersed among the parties. So since the majority usually becomes the government, the majority in the committee... tada! represents the government. It has also very little teeth (basically none) should any miracle happen and they should actually decide to reprimand anyone.

      The real control is SUPPOSED to be with the
      • by init100 (915886)

        The only hope, however faint is that people neither forgets nor forgives this treason, and remember who the traitors were the next time elections are coming up.

        That won't help. The previous social democrat administration created this proposition, and they aren't going to throw out this law unless held by their throat by the greens and/or the left party. And the only way that could happen would be if the lefts/greens would threaten to unseat the social democrats by siding with the (assumed) right-wing opposition. And that is highly unlikely, especially for the left party, because regardless of how much they dislike the social democrats, they dislike all the right

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:24PM (#23845671)
    No that their a Swedish news source or something, but for what it's worth, the register says something completely different [theregister.co.uk]:

    A controversial law in Sweden which would have allowed Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) to monitor all outgoing and incoming communications crossing Sweden's borders didn't get enough votes in parliament today.


    or am I confused?
  • news (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    the Local, swedish news in english...

    http://www.thelocal.se/12534/20080618/ //W
  • Sad sad sad day (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tazor (775513)
    This is insane. Newer thought this could happen in Sweden.

    Now it will only be a matter of time before the government in my country (Denmark) will try to pass the same kind of law, i'm sure.

    Tomorrow I'm calling my mobile phone company (Telia) and making sure that none of my calls are routed through Sweden.

    I hope ThePirateBay.org will start to educate the swedish people on how to encrypt their communications, because they will need it.
  • More Coverage (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:29PM (#23845735)
    More stuff with more of the Swedish stuff translated into English.

    'Ja' to Lex Orwell [radsoft.net]
    Lex Blair [radsoft.net]
    Orwellian Update I [radsoft.net]
    To the Vote [radsoft.net]
    Lex Orwell & Intent [radsoft.net]
    Lex Orwell - No for Now [radsoft.net]
    'I Have To Be Able to Look Myself in the Eyes' [radsoft.net]
  • by bo-eric (263735) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:32PM (#23845763)
    If anyone wondered what FRA will be using its fairly new 13728-core, 102 Tflop/s (Rmax) Xeon cluster [top500.org] for, I guess this is it. When it was new on the previous list (November 2007), it held the fifth place. Here [computersweden.idg.se] is an article about it in Computer Sweden (in Swedish). Maybe now is a good time to upgrade to 2048-bit keys...
  • Anonymous Coward (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:37PM (#23845841)
    The entire Swedish government (okay, a distinct 143+ members) have just proven they are extremely hostile to the will, freedom, and safety of the Swedish people.

    They should be voted out of power immediately by No Confidence/Popular Referendum/whatever. Now!

    What they have just done goes against Everything the public has told them! They only succeeded by suppressing all media outlets for months - something so blatantly and grossly corrupt does not call for grumbling; it does not call for petitions; it calls for the immediate dis-bandment of the parliament, and re-election of public representatives; NOW ! Today/Tomorrow/Within the week !!!

        Also, the dominant party must not be voted into office next election.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      it calls for the immediate dis-bandment of the parliament, and re-election of public representatives; NOW !

      You seem to feel pretty strongly about this. I do hope you are doing a little more than posting on slashdot.

  • by Ortega-Starfire (930563) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @05:41PM (#23845893) Journal
    ...that the US government really had it in for its citizens. Then later I discovered that even now in this post 9/11 world, we in the USA don't even hold a candle to the abusive modern governments that are out there, such as the UK, Australia, Sweden, and more!

    It makes me want to go into politics, try and change the system for the better, protect the liberties we still have here before even those get stolen by those in power, but each time I consider it, I think, "Do I want to let myself become like them?"

    How does one change one's government without being corrupted by the system? This is not just a question for those in any specific country to answer, but one every man and woman must consider.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Do it.
      Get involved.

      If you don't, who will?
        Think about the children. Your children.

      Seriously, bad apples are drawn to authority like hornets; we need you in there, bud.
    • This from a citizen of a country where you can still get hauled before the judge for walking across a road !
      Steve
    • by Eco-Mono (978899)
      By designing the new system to be robust in the face of corruption, we can ensure that those in power never have an incentive to become corrupt. E-mail me.
    • ^_^ (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cynic.AU (1205120)
      Gunpowder, treason and plot, my friend.

      There will be a resurgence of the anarchist movement. Only violent upheaval can stop this ongoing bloodletting of freedom and privacy.

      (Hello ECHELON)
  • the pinnacle of what europe can accomplish, and accomplished. a bunch of STUPID IDIOTS which are chosen as 'representatives' have totally fucked up the ideals of personal rights, freedoms and handed the whole country to whomever at the helm at any point to be abused. clearly shows representative democracy does not work. you elect the person, then that person can vote as s/he wishes, not how you wish. we need to get rid of all those faggots and start direct democracy.
    • . we need to get rid of all those faggots and start direct democracy.

      Think of how many people go nuts when they can't watch american idol and dancing with the stars.

      Think of the nearly 50% of americans who believe the horse crap the intelligent design people are shoveling.

      No, this is not what you want.

      what you want is a meritocracy. Specifically, you want to amend constitutions world-wide to require a Ph.D. to run for office, but exclude the business and law fields.

      • you are well aware that scholastic education system is reminiscent of medieval church and also just an extension of current ruling establishment in spirits ? and also, modern education just happens to be memorizing textbook and playing along to whatever is asked in the exams ?
        • not at the doctorate level.

          For a decade and a half I've watched half baked legislation and other initiatives pushed over and over, and never, ever, have I seen a Ph.D. speak up who was for any of them.

          They either were directly against it or wanted deeper examination and substantiation of the so called "problems" they supposedly solved.

          you are well aware that scholastic education system is reminiscent of medieval church

          Let me know when ranking state and private institutions schedule a witch burning. The scientific community requires tested proof to accept a new theory, this not the same as

  • Sometimes, when I see politicians writing bad laws like this one, I wonder... what if we found a perfect minarchist core set of laws, then said: this is the final version, no updates allowed.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      You can't make a law that covers everything. Someone will alway find a loop hole, and there will be people who they get that the law wasn't intended to get.

      You might want to look into the three major studies looking at AIDS transmission and circumcision.

      60% less like to get AIDS if you are circumcision.

  • Human translation (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:31PM (#23846605) Homepage
    Sweden's own Stasi

    In two days, on wednesday, the parliament is expected to give swedish intelligence the right to scan all e-mails, sms and phone traffic passing through the borders of Sweden. Christoph Andersson is reminded by the surveilance system in the old DDR - and questions where the personal integrity is going.

    In the east-german security police's archives there are shelves of fire-yellow, red or dark brown files. The combined length is a total of 180km. Here are printouts of common east germans' phone records and long lists of different persons phone contacts, together with dates and times. Particularly interesting for Stasi was the phone traffic that crossed the border of east germany.

    The gigantic surverilance system had as a mission to protect the "democracy" in the DDR against "hostile negative forces" and "terrorism". The threat image gave Stasi the right to collect information about everything and everyone.

    Since 1989 Stasi is only a memory. None the less, a similar but even worse surveilance system is about to be created - this time in Sweden. To this end, the military department "Forsvarets radioanstalt (FRA)" has aquired a supercomputer worth millions of swedish crowns (100 SEK = 16 USD), according to Computer Sweden. That is expected to become several in the years to come.

    With the help of the computers the FRA will scan all e-mails, all SMS and all phone calls that pass through Sweden's borders. Every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Precisely like in old DDR the purpose is to stop "terrorism" and prevent foreign threats towards society.

    Concretely this will be done through FRA feeding different search words into the computer system, both in Swedish and in other languages. In addition FRA will search for stings with randomly chosen words and numbers. (Yes, translation is good)

    - Encryptions, explains the defense minister's closest man, state secretary Håkan Jevreli in a video interview that is shown on the society "Digging journalists" seminar in Göteborg in April.

    In the interview he gives the understanding that mail with encrypted contents are of particular interest for the FRA. Any terrorists would hardly write in cleartext where they will strike - and with what force. Surely cryptographic systems like PGP are judged hard to crack. But with one or more computers in the million (SEK) class surely everything from encrypted love letters to journalists' correspondance with sources can be cracked. The latter is portected by the constitution's anonymity protection. FRA can not possibly know anything agbout the contents before they break the encryption - thereby creating a catch 22. In practise the constitution's paragraph about protection of sources becomes worthless.

    All that is required so that FRA can begin work is that the parliament (Riksdagen) accepts the proposal "An adapted military intelligence service". Behind the contentless title hides a breach of integrity that lacks its equal in Swedish history. FRA should not only search for information on any terrorist cells or terrorist acts. According to the proposition FRA shall even collect information regarding "supply crisises, ecological imbalances, threats against the environment, ethnical and religious conflicts, large refugee- and migration movements as well as economic challenges in the form of currency or interest speculation. The thoughts once again returns to Stasi's old surveilance system.

    At the same time Håkan Jevrell and "borgerlige" (right wing) politicians assures that the general public has nothing to fear. It is only border crossing traffic that is to be scanned, not domestic sms, phone and e-mail traffic. The catch is just that domestic e-mail also goes via foreign countries. Partly because swedish companies and organiations has servers in other countries, partly because e-mail does not take national borders into consideration. Post between for example Luleå and Malmö can very well go through the US - if there is free capac
  • Civil disobedience (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j1976 (618621) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:32PM (#23846619)
    So far, the best suggestion I have heard for protesting against this law is to simply add fra@fra.se to the CC of every single mail you send. Hell, they want the mail so let's just sent it to them directly. The amusing thing about this is that FRA is a government agency and that this is their official address. By law they are required to register and archive all mail arriving on that address so that citizens asking for a mail later on can get it.
  • Rough Translation (Score:2, Informative)

    by flupps (193729)
    Sweden's own Stasi

    In two days, Wednesday, is it assumed that the riksdag (The Swedish instrument of government) will give the surveillance service the right to scan all email, sms (phone texts) and phone traffic that pass through the borders of Sweden.
    Christoph Andersson is reminded by the surveillance machine in the past DDR - and wonder where the personal privacy is going.

    IN THE EASTGERMAN SECURITY POLICE archives exists shelves with fire-yellow red or dark brown files. The combined length is 180 kilomete
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:47PM (#23846799)
    This story and the many many like it where governments blatantly ignore the public will and go completely unpunished are making graphically clear the failure of democracy.

    Granted the modern democracies are representative republics, but I think the continuous jury nullification in lynching cases in the early to mid 20th century already show that direct democracy will never produce a free society either.

    Its back to the drawing board.
  • Whereas once we did this against a few oppressive regimes, we are now battling for our own freedom.

    Lets fight back!
    Lets give our unused bandwidth for this cause.
    Lets set up TOR nodes sabotaging the logging by causing log entries not truly originating from our machines, preventing mapping of our own profile as well as that of those using the network.

    Let the unused bandwidth you have paid for come to use for something truly important - our privacy - lets not just talk, but start the fight for our privacy!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nullav (1053766)
      And some government agency in Sweden can run a TOR node and harvest passwords. TOR only encrypts before and between nodes. They may not know your IP, but they can learn a lot about you by reading emails and forum posts.
      The resources would be better spent on encrypting absolutely everything. Rather than setting up open proxies, we should convince server owners to use SSL/TLS anywhere that it would help. If you have bandwidth to spare (most browsers don't cache HTTPS by default), have control over the server,
  • This is it Sweden. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:53PM (#23846893)
    This is it Sweden. You're on the spot now. Step up, and fight this down. You take this one up the ass and you're going to be doing the anal dance for the rest of your life, and then the next generation will consider it the norm. It will never get better. You have to stop it now, there are no second chances.

    YOU MUST DO IT NOW!
  • What a geek can do (Score:4, Informative)

    by level4 (1002199) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @06:58PM (#23846961)
    What are practical steps geeks like us can do to slow down, if only slightly, this creeping totalitarianism?

    1. Many of us are webmasters. Buy an SSL certificate and run your sites through TLS *by default*. Yes it uses more CPU. Do it anyway.

    2. Start reminding your friends to use PGP or S/MIME for the email. Start turning up the urgency, week by week, until you finally demand that they do it or you can't talk them by email anymore.

    3. Start acting surprised if your friends don't use any other forms of encryption - disk, etc. Don't layer it on too thick. Just enough to start to create a doubt in their mind that they're doing it right.

    For us, encryption is normal and everyday (I hope so anyway!). Our tasks is to use our positions as tech "influencers" - either in positions of direct power or in the respect and regard of friends - to discreetly push the theory and practise of encryption and privacy into the normal lives of those around us.

    The days grow dark indeed. Just a week ago France became maybe the first large rich country to start systematically blocking websites at the country level. And now this. It's tempting to withdraw into depression and fatalism but these measures will be implemented with technology and can be defeated with it too. Encryption, VPNs, mesh routing - it's all within our reach; even installed on everyone's computers! And it's time for us to do what we can, and start educating those around us to do what's right.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @08:04PM (#23847787)

    I'll try to translate into US politics.

    Consider a controversial legislation that would allow the US government to get a copy of all electronic communications that could somehow cross the US border. Because you cannot be sure if the communication could cross a border, the telecoms have to give your government a copy of all communications. (Even more true in a small country like Sweden.)

    Now think of this law being proposed again and again, and turned down each time. If you really want the law passed what would you do?

    Wait until the eve of the super bowl. Secretly inform the proponents of the law in advance, and then on the eve of the super bowl: Call in congress for a debate and vote on the law by email with one hour's notice. You would be sure to have the majority.

    This is what happened in Sweden. It wasn't the super bowl, but an important national soccer match. Soccer is the national sport in Sweden, just as football is in the US.

  • by chris_7d0h (216090) on Thursday June 19, 2008 @12:55PM (#23859799) Journal
    An entire additional nation now needs to be able to post information to Slashdot without risk of reprisals from the government or corporate interests. As such I would like to emplore the Slashdot administrators to enable SSL as an alternative to un-encrypted HTTP traffic for reading and posting to this site.

    I am fully aware that SSL will increase the resource use of the site, but if you make it a feature that must be enabled in a user's profile, it wouldn't be a default and thus the performance impact should be manageable. As we all know, anything requiring "opt in" will mean only a fraction of the total population will use it.

    If you can spare the CPU-cycles, a good service would be something akin to Google's, where you enable SSL for certain (surveiled) IP-ranges where as Google uses it to "i18n" their pages.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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