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Sweden's Snoop Law Targets Russia 186

Posted by timothy
from the well-then-it's-ok dept.
praps writes "There's been much controversy lately over Sweden's new law which allows the signal intelligence agency (FRA) to monitor all data traffic within the country's borders. The Swedish government has kept curiously quiet about the new law's objectives but sources close to the intelligence community say that Russia is the prime target. '"80 percent of Russia's contacts with large parts of the world travel through cables in Sweden. That is the core of the issue," said one source.'" Related: EuroConcerned writes "Many things are happening in Sweden after the new legislation on wiretapping has been voted. TorrentFreak has an article on what's going on, including massive protests and Google moving their servers away from the country."
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Sweden's Snoop Law Targets Russia

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  • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:45PM (#24122803)
    FTFA:

    His email was leaked to the press by another party colleague and Andrén was later heard on a recorded phone-call exclaiming that his secrecy of correspondence had been broken and that it was âoeGestapo methodsâ. Dude, you just voted for a bill that allows all emails to be read and all phone calls to be recorded. Live with it!

    I am glad to see their politicians are as inept as my politicians!

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:07PM (#24123271)

      I was thinking about the same. Personally, I'd want that person removed from his office. He voted quite obviously on a bill he neither read, understood, nor understood the implications thereof. How the fuck does he DARE to vote on it?

      Seriously, if politicians had to survive in private business, they'd be fired on the spot.

      • Re:now that's funny (Score:5, Informative)

        by init100 (915886) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:56PM (#24124281)

        He voted quite obviously on a bill he neither read, understood, nor understood the implications thereof.

        He isn't the only one. Another one literally said I like signals intelligence, so although I really don't know anything about this bill, I'll vote Yes.

        The stupidity is staggering.

      • by cstdenis (1118589)

        I think you are massively underestimating the incompetence of private business.

        • And the even greater incompetence of the proles who support them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          Sorry, but when I decide on something that is against the interests of my employer (remember, politicians are essentially our employees), and when asked why I decided that way my answer is "no idea, I don't have the foggiest about the thingamajig, but it sounded cool", what will my employer do?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        I used to think that phrase meant something. Then I realized how many completely incompetent people there are in private industry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In a Swedish tv-program called Uppdrag Granskning (I believe -- may have been another program), a journalist walked around and asked politicians about the propositions they'd voted for.

        I don't believe a single one of them actually knew what they were voting for.

        Seriously, they don't read them. They don't care. I kind of doubt any other "democracy" works any differently.

        It pisses me off to no end.

        (No, I didn't vote for any of them).

        • Now, I wouldn't read too much into a program like this. When they show 10 politicians who make a complete fool out of themselves because they don't even know what the agenda is, it can just as well mean that they interviewed 200 and 190 knew exactly what's going on.

          The media lie, the politicians lie. The sign of a democracy is when they tell different lies.

  • by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:46PM (#24122817)

    My plan to fight this sort of thing:

    1. Profit!!!

    2. Buy a large island and form a new government on it, which cannot pass any laws without approval by 50% of the public (not 50% of voters but 50% of the island's population) in a vote, which takes place once per year.

    3. ???

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alzheimers (467217)

      That only works as long as you're greater than 50% of the population.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by koma77 (930091)
        It was the _opposition_ that first proposed this law. Then after the election, a shift of government and: the same law gets passed. Nice.
      • by Wildclaw (15718)

        Better than having 0,004% of the population decide what is best for you. Or far less than that if you look at how top run some of these political parties are.

        The tyranny of the majority is never used as anything but an excuse to implement a tyranny of the minority.

    • by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:57PM (#24123033) Journal

      I'm not sure how a discussion about how out of touch the politicians who pass laws like this have to be and how full-time professional politicians are bad for society gets modded off-topic, even if it is formatted as a typical joke.

      The whole problem with a law like this is that people are getting paid to sit around full-time and think about how to have an impact on the lives of others. Many of the problems in the world are because politicians have too much impact on the daily lives of others. Obstructionism in government preserves the freedom of the people.

    • So those who don't vote are counted as a "No" vote? That seems as arbitrary as counting them as "Yes"
      • IF the law(whatever) does not pass, then everything stays the way it is; when it passes things change. Because of that, a 'No" vote from non-voters is a better choice then a "yes" vote, because it works to keep things the way they are; no change.
        • So if a question is posed as "Do you want to change things?" then not voting is seen as wanting to keep things as they are. If the question is posed as "Do you want to keep things as they are?" then not voting is a vote in favor of change?

          I'd say a no vote most reasonably means "I'll go with whatever you guys who vote decide"
          • "I'll go with whatever you guys who vote decide" - To get that, then you'd have to only count votes of those that voted. But his system is based around needing 50% of all the people, not just those who care enough about the issues to show up to a vote. Sure, it's a flawed system. but within the concept of his system, it makes more since for a non-vote to equal "no" then "yes".
      • So those who don't vote are counted as a "No" vote? That seems as arbitrary as counting them as "Yes".

        Not if your goal is to require proof of majority support before changing the status quo. I would say it's reasonable to leave things as they are unless most people actively demonstrate a desire for change; otherwise unrepresentative vocal minorities end up making all the decisions.

  • Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dahitokiri (1113461) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:46PM (#24122819)
    It's good to know people aren't sitting back and are actually protesting this law in person. Americans could probably learn something from that... Google checking out of the country definitely packs a punch too, even if there isn't much of an economic impact.
    • Re:Excellent (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jeiler (1106393) <go.bugger.off@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:50PM (#24122901) Journal
      May not be much of an economic impact, but it's one hell of a PR impact.
      • Yes and no. They've still got tons of hosting in the US which is subject to the PATRIOT Act. This reason alone is why Canadian businesses refuse to use Google Apps for their businesses. This is more of a "sticking with the devil you know" kind of situation, I think.
        • by jeiler (1106393)
          I was referring to the PR impact against the Swedish government. Sorry for the confusion.
    • The fact is that this issue is growing exponentially, gathering a massive opposition to this legislation. It finally, after much attempts to alert the media, feels like the issue has reached each and every Swede and many people outside of Sweden. It feels, in short, GOOD.

      The sitting government is just now being shot at from every direction. ALL parties (left, center and right) "youth communities" (big thing here) are against the legislation - that's some heavy critisism!

      The Prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt

  • From TFA, "It is now obvious that the legislation was a deal made between the leaders of the four government parties without full support, even from within their own ranks"

    Being that we only have two parties in the US, and wiretapping bills are getting passed around like cheap hookers, I suspect Sweden will be a good case study for the future of telecommunications monitoring here in the states. Our government now can see that another government could get away with something like this, so it likely won't
    • Monitoring of foreign communications has never been a technical issue in the US within my lifetime, nor a legal issue within my father's lifetime. It's the domestic spying we really need to crack down on first. Then we worry about whether or not we can stop our government from spying on everyone else, or if that's even a good idea.

  • There is one major fault in the article.

    The FRA will only spy on traffic going across Sweden's borders.
    NOT on domestic traffic.

    /C

    • by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:03PM (#24123165) Journal

      I think the concern in Sweden is about traffic that crosses the borders but which has one endpoint in the country. If you can spy on any traffic crossing the borders, that means that Swedes who communicate internationally or who communicate with other Swedes using international communications infrastructure are just as eligible.

      Is there some protection for two Swedes in Sweden who use, for example, Slashdot to communicate?

      • by Per Wigren (5315)

        Is there some protection for two Swedes in Sweden who use, for example, Slashdot to communicate?

        Nope, no protection at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by init100 (915886)

        Is there some protection for two Swedes in Sweden who use, for example, Slashdot to communicate?

        In reality, very unlikely. But politicians usually lack everything but the most superficial understanding of computer and network technology, so they think that such protections will exist just because they wrote them into the law.

        Several of them has said that FRA won't snoop on communication between swedes, regardless of whether the traffic crosses a border or even if they use international services like GMail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. But as anyone with a minimum of knowledge in the field knows, this is impos

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      How can they tell the difference in a real-time fashion? Additionally, who is monitoring the "lookers" to ensure they are obeying the rules?

      Furthermore, servers are often located all over the world. If you use a chat service of some kind, the information often leaves the area, then returns. Thus, this could be ruled as having been "crossing Swedens borders" but was actually Swedish traffic all along.

      I think the overwhelming problems are:

      1. Probably not enough oversight to ensure power is not being
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Znork (31774)

        How can they tell the difference in a real-time fashion?

        They have what was the #5 of the top known computer clusters in the world.

        I think the overwhelming problems are:

        The main flaw in the legislation is diverting any and all traffic without explicit court orders targeting specific cases. The rest derive from that.

        And I wouldn't say 'arguable' returns, I'd say negative returns. The scheme is trivial to bog down beyond recovery; phrase generators are one thing, a much more useful form of clogging the works w

    • And these types are to be distinguished how exactly?

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Since a lot of calls bounce out of the borders and back in, do yuo really see that as effective?

    • The FRA will only spy on traffic going across Sweden's borders.

      yea, tell that to Mr Butt, my public relations correspondent. here, just bow your head closer to it ... yea like that ... hey whats that noise ? ooopss. sorry.

    • by Tord (5801)

      Most of my domestic traffic crosses the borders. I use gmail for my e-mail so every single e-mail to/from me passes the border.

      All sites and forums I regularly visit passes all information across the border (writing this on Slashdot for example).

      Etc. etc.

  • by bill_kress (99356) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @03:58PM (#24123073)

    I'm not trying to be a "USA SUCKS" guy (in this case). We obviously have legitimate concerns with Russia and if we aren't doing everything we can to monitor their traffic, we're really screwing up in the intelligence arena (again).

    So, if we decided to monitor them, we'd go for the choke point, a place where all the Russian traffic flows, right? Of course Sweeden is a fairly open society (as opposed to ours) and I'm guessing they wouldn't attempt to help us without doing at least the bare minimum "above the covers".

    So I suppose I'd be awfully surprised if we weren't behind all this.

    Or if you think about it from the other direction--what use would Sweden itself have for intelligence about Russia beyond that of selling/giving it to governments that could do something with it?

    • What would be an example of our (American, that is) "legitimate concerns" that wouldn't also be legitimate concerns of the free and open society of Sweden?

      Seems like something that should genuinely bother us ought to be bother them as well.

      • by bill_kress (99356)

        They are, I just don't think (from my ignorant American point of view) that Sweden has the resources to solve the problems it might find--on top of that, they tend to keep their noses out of other peoples business.

        America has a history of being the opposite.

        Again, from a somewhat isolated POV.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That absurd law specifically mentions the sale of such information to other nations.

    • by eddy (18759) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:11PM (#24123353) Homepage Journal

      Sweden has always been passing on intelligence to the US. We've lost people to get you the intelligence too [wikipedia.org]. No doubt the laws which forbade FRA from snooping in cables have caused the stream of quality intelligence to the US to dry up, and I'm sure the US put pressure on our officials to get back on track.

      That said, I believe this is mostly misdirection, but that's me.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Can't seem to find a good article on that on wikipedia (which is odd), but here'a decent recap from Report on downed DC-3 complete [www.mil.se].

        "The DC-3 took off from Bromma on the morning of 13 June 1952. The National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) had assigned the aircraft to monitor a large Soviet naval exercise.

        A few hours after take off, a telegraph operator at Roslagen's wing in Hägernäs received a call from the aircraft. Contact suddenly disappeared and nothing more was heard. The DC-3 had be

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I would.
      Simple if most the data flows through those cables then the US would just tap the cable off shore.
      Or if possible tap them in Norway or some other NATO country.
      Sweden prides it's self on being neutral. Odds are that Sweden want to do this for their own reasons. Sweden has been flying their own Elint aircraft since the 50s. Sweden knows that they have a lot more to fear from Russia than the NATO members but because they are outside of NATO they don't have access to all the NATO Intelligence data.

      • by init100 (915886) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @05:16PM (#24124707)

        Sweden knows that they have a lot more to fear from Russia

        There is one reason why I don't really buy the "we need to snoop on Russia" argument: Why on Earth would we (Sweden) be continually reducing our defense forces (as we are) if Russia is so much a threat that we have to pass such a far-reaching wiretapping law to listen on them? It doesn't make sense. I mean, soon the only thing we could do to fend off an attack would be to throw compute nodes from the FRA supercomputer at the invading Russians, but I hardly think that this would stop them.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Well why has Sweden been flying Elint missions for fifty plus years? Intelligence is always an advantage. Also this is a pretty cheap way to get Comint. As I said the US would have many other options that didn't involve a public referendum.

          • by init100 (915886)

            Sweden hasn't been dismantling its defenses for the last 50+ years, that is a fairly recent occurrence.

    • by faloi (738831) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:16PM (#24123445)
      Sweden and Russia are pretty close geographically, last time I checked. I would think that Sweden would have a lot of use for intelligence as it relates to organized crime in Russia, military activities, industrial accidents that might not be reported through more conventional means for some time... Heck, there's a whole host of reasons that a country might want to keep tabs on a neighbor...especially a neighbor that has historically been a little reluctant to share lots of details with the outside world.
      • Sweden and Russia are pretty close geographically, last time I checked. I would think that Sweden would have a lot of use for intelligence as it relates to organized crime in Russia, military activities, industrial accidents that might not be reported through more conventional means for some time... Heck, there's a whole host of reasons that a country might want to keep tabs on a neighbor...especially a neighbor that has historically been a little reluctant to share lots of details with the outside world.

        Don't forget all of the Russian ddos attacks and botnets [theregister.co.uk].

      • One of the main arguments for the FRA law has in fact been to gain a means of listening in to organised crime. No specific countries have been mentioned but most organised crimes in Sweden, ranging from petty stuff like pickpocketing and shoplifting to burglaries to drugs, weapons and trafficking) seem to come from former Soviet countries, predominantly Russia and the Baltic, or with "MC Gangs", that often are tied in with organised crime of those regions.
      • by swb (14022)

        And a neighbor who has has a history of military misadventures in Scandinavia.

        The current Russian mafia/intelligence/government mash-up in power in Russia is a little scary.

        I'd like to believe its just a matter of a little sort-of-useful nationalism to get the country back on track after the fairly rough post-communist era, but part of me also thinks its a government with the guiding spirit of nationalism, the abilities of the KGB/FSA and the morality and tolerance of organized crime.

        I know lots of Russians

      • by yoprst (944706) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @06:32PM (#24126251)
        And this gets modded insightful... Slashdot populace ain't getting better with time. Finland (unlike Sweden) would have a lot of use for that intelligence, because Finland, unlike, you know, Sweden, actually shares a border with Russia, and suffers from Russian crime (and vice versa, but let's pretend it doesn't happen). We don't hear about Finland snooping on Russia. We also don't hear about Sweden snooping on Russia and passing their data to Finland. What we hear is Sweden working as free intel service for US. In the end the result will be a pissed of Russia, and a warm smile from US administration. Truly an improvement of Swedish security.
        • by CRCulver (715279)

          Finland, unlike, you know, Sweden, actually shares a border with Russia, and suffers from Russian crime (and vice versa, but let's pretend it doesn't happen).

          Except for drink and sex tourists vomiting liberally over Saint Petersburg, how exactly does Finland bother Russia?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Holammer (1217422)
      Sweden has this history of collecting intel and supplying USA/NATO with information in exchange for protection in the event of a war. I believe this snooping law is simply required to hold their end of a bargain. One that dates from the 50's or so. But given the development of the internet the past decade, they need to focus on new ways to gather information. Which might be encouraged or even demanded by some outside party.
  • by kramer2718 (598033) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:04PM (#24123205) Homepage

    It is so refreshing to see a political party focused on electronic freedom and sane intellectual property laws.

    Help the Pirate Party [piratpartiet.se] fight this and other crazy technology laws by donating [piratpartiet.se]

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:05PM (#24123227) Journal

    A few things:

    Various viral campaigns have flourished along with grassroots activism and The Pirate Party has hauled full sails to catch the wind that will blow them straight into European Parliament during the elections of 2009.

    That would be great, but IIRC they were almost ignored at the polls last time...you don't go from a fringe party getting a negligible number of votes to winning an election in just a few years.

    Next, we often speculate at what would happen if a populace were to massively protest a government action, and this is an interesting indication that it wouldn't do a thing. There seems to be more protest action on this in Sweden than there has been on the Iraq war and the FISA bill combined in the states, and the politicians aren't going to budge by the looks of it. Quite frightening.

    Third, I love the "FRA: STFU GTFO" banner XD

    • by cptnapalm (120276) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:10PM (#24123345)

      "the politicians aren't going to budge by the looks of it"

      This surprises you? The EU Constitution was routinely rejected in Europe, so they call it a treaty to get around that pesky voting thing. Then Ireland's people get to vote on it and reject it, so despite the requirement that it be unanimous, they have no intentions of stopping.

    • by ozamosi (615254)

      I see you're not European! ;)

      That would be great, but IIRC they were almost ignored at the polls last time...

      They received about 2/3 of a percent. That made them the third biggest party outside of parliament, which puts them in tenth place overall. Not amazing, but they had existed for about 6 moths at the time.

      While the police's illegal TPB raid gave them a lot of power, all traditional media thought they wouldn't receive any votes at all. In polls, they weren't even an alternative. In party leader debates, they weren't invited - even if it was an event that was also open to parties o

    • by Per Wigren (5315)

      [The Pirate Party] were almost ignored at the polls last time

      Not very true. It's true that they only got 0,63%, or 34918 of the votes, but that's a HUGE accomplishment for a party that had at the time only existed for a few months and had a budget of practically zero.

      I personally know a significant amount of people who considered voting for them but in the end decided to vote for an established party because they still believed that the liberals would practice liberalism and that a vote on the Pirates would be a somewhat wasted vote. Now, after the FRA law has been v

    • "you don't go from a fringe party getting a negligible number of votes to winning an election in just a few years."

      It is exactly how the Republican Party started up in the USA in the 1850's. They went from zero to President in under 10 years.

      So, yes, it can happen.

      The real key is to have the right answers to the questions that resonate with enough people at the time to win credibility.

  • sources close to the intelligence community say that Russia is the prime target

    ... because they figured that people are tired of hearing the terrorists story, and therefore came up with a different enemy to justify their hunger for control.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Just an FYI:
      Russia has been flexing it's military again; which seems strange.
      They've flown at least one bomber into Alaskan air space recently that had to be escorted back.

      • Doesn't surprise me. Russia is not to happy about the US Missile Shield, but their opinion seems to be ignored. So they flex their military again to get some more weight behind it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Halo1 (136547)

        There's nothing strange about Russia flexing its muscle. The whole reason that Putin became so popular is because he made sure that Russia was again taken seriously after Yeltsin's era. He may be oppressive to a certain extent and the riches may go mainly to his friends, but at least Russia is respected again.

        And sure, Putin's Russia (and possible Medvedev's as well) is quite dangerous in various ways. But so are various terrorist organisations. However, they are nothing compared to the political leaders of

  • by eebra82 (907996) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:25PM (#24123611) Homepage

    The Swedish government has kept curiously quiet about the new law's objectives but sources close to the intelligence community say that Russia is the prime target.

    This new law is so strange that it makes me think that the Swedish government is under the influence of a larger power.. I wouldn't be surprised if the United States or some other country had something to do with this, but who knows..

    Meanwhile, the major opposing party Socialdemokraterna (socialistic democratic party) has vowed to undo the law if it wins the next election.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Meanwhile, the major opposing party Socialdemokraterna (socialistic democratic party) has vowed to undo the law if it wins the next election.

      Three guesses which party proposed the legislation while they were in government?

    • Of course the Swedish Government is under the influence of a larger power. It's called politics.

      But it's not like any outside power can just get people elected and subsequently cause them to act completely against character. At least not in most first world countries.

      Even if responding to influence from an outside government it's still the Swedish government that had to pass this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Not quite. The Socialist Democratic Party in Sweden has vowed to _change_ the law. They want to add some meaningless part about personal integrity - but keep the surveillance system and data parsing.

      In practice, they won't change anything by adding the desired "integrity" paragraph to the law. It would mean that only people who are under suspicion will be monitored - but uhow_ would one do this without having access to - and investigating - each and every data packet?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by manwal (648106)

      Meanwhile, the major opposing party Socialdemokraterna (socialistic democratic party) has vowed to undo the law if it wins the next election.

      And not only that, they've also vowed to redo it!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They are the ones who originally came up with the new law, most likely they will _remove_ whatever little integrity protection are in the law at that time ....

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Exanon (1277926)
      Actually it's a bit more complicated than that. Let's do a short summary:

      We have seven (7) parties in the Riksdag in Sweden, The leftists, the social democrats, the environmentalists (they form a loose group but squabble a lot). We also have the center, the people's party, the christian democrats and the moderate party. These last four parties formed an Alliance (commonly referred to as "the alliance") last election and won.

      They are the ones that voted for the law. However, it was the Social democrats
  • Google moves their servers out of Sweden, but keeps them in China.

    • by cstdenis (1118589)

      We all expect this kind of crap from China or the US, but not from most European countries.

  • by MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @04:43PM (#24123993)
    Since the references from TFA are mostly in Swedish, I thought I'd translate and share some of the most interesting points.

    It should be noted that while the FRA law has been a source of intense debate both within the parliament and population at large, the governing parties have apparently made a point of as far as possible not mentioning it, neither before or after passing the bill. Also, before the bill was passed, the parliamentarians of the coalition parties were instructed to vote the party way (which is unconstitutional) which caused several embers to resign their positions in protest.

    TFA notes that when the official silence has been broken, be it in response to the massive criticism or in private but revealed communication, the politicians in charge appear to range from inexcusably ignorant of the subject to criminally incompetent. As an example, it mentions Gunnar Andrén, the leader of the People's Party (folkpartiet) and a member of the liberal ruling coalition, who in a private email to fellow party member and parliamentarian Camilla Lindberg, who went against the internal instructions and voted against the law, expressed anger and recrimination.

    This letter was publicised by Miss Lindberg's partner, a fact which made Mr. Andrén lash out in rage, claiming revealing a private letter was "Gestapo- and Stazi like" and "in violation of the Sanctity of Letters" act, a Swedish law that states that it is illegal by any party but the intended recipient to intercept or partake of the contents of a closed letter.

    The irony, and what makes an incredibly arse out of him, is evident in the comments on the Swedish article (http://www.politikerbloggen.se/2008/07/03/9359/), a sample:

    * "Smart guy, first voting for FRA and then getting pissed when someone does the same on him"
    * "the yes-man Andrén is pissed about something he thinks only FRA and the government can do, the right to read others' private mail"
    * "I agree with Gunnar Andrén that it is Gestapo methods to read others' letters or tapping phones. Now we know what GA wants in Sweden since he voted yes for FRA"
    • by init100 (915886) on Wednesday July 09, 2008 @05:37PM (#24125181)

      * "Smart guy, first voting for FRA and then getting pissed when someone does the same on him"

      This reminds me of another such episode in the FRA drama. Immediately after the bill passed the vote, some members of the pretty politically incorrect forum Flashback started a thread that purported to monitor the surveillance agency FRA, especially its employees. In it, they scoured publicly available sources, such as the FRA web site, Google, Facebook, MySpace, etc, for information on FRA employees, and posted what they found in the thread.

      Shortly afterward, the FRA director cried out in the press against the publishing of "protected identities of secret FRA operatives" on the web. He complained that it was unfair and that his employees had a right to privacy. He apparently didn't see any hypocrisy of complaining about the lack of privacy for his own employees while taking away the privacy of everyone else.

      Besides, what real "secret operatives with protected identities" have their own Facebook or MySpace page with their real name and FRA email address? Maybe he should inform his "secret agents" about not publishing their personal information on publicly accessible web sites. Not to mention the FRA web page, which contained a thorough organizational scheme with names, etc. He should probably clean up on his own doorstep before crying out in the press that someone had looked at their own web site.

      The whole story was beyond funny.

  • Neighbour concerns (Score:3, Informative)

    by broeman (638571) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:02AM (#24130577) Journal
    As a neighbour to Sweden, the Danish people and government has voiced their concern with Sweden lately (not the old "forbudssverige" (directly translated "The Forbitten Land" because mainly of their alcohol policies).

    Many customers have asked their Internet provider to remove traffic through Sweden if possible, but many IPs use Swedish backbones. The Danish Police Intelligence (if any) is very concerned, since most of their traffic goes through Sweden, and the Minister of Justice wants to contact the Swedish government for information on how it will affect Danish citizens. The Minister of State ("primeminister", he's seldom seen in Denmark lately) and Minister of IT doesn't want to though, as they see it as a "Swedish Case".
  • There is a lot of fuss about the new Swedish law that gives FRA access to snoop on all Internet traffic passing their borders. To be honest, I don't really see the problem here. We have always suspected governments to listen in on Internet traffic, and Sweden is at least open about it.

    We all know that as soon as our data goes outside of the network we physically control, we have no guarantee that nobody are tapping the data. This is old news, and we have been aware of it for many years now.

    In "the old da

  • In Sweden, YOU spy on Soviet Russia!

  • Okay, so they're gonna spy on me. Why would I care? They're not doing anything my own government isn't doing already...

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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