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Sweden On Verge of Passing Sweeping Wiretap Plan

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the we've-always-been-at-war-with-eurasia dept.

Privacy 234

An anonymous reader writes "No one seems to have noticed that Sweden is close to passing a far-reaching wiretapping program that would greatly expand the government's spying capabilities by permitting it to monitor all email and telephone traffic coming in and out of the country. If a bill before parliament becomes law, the country's National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) will monitor all internet traffic that passes in or out of the country. As the article notes, there's a good chance email traveling from, say, the UK to Finland would be fair game, since it's likely to traverse through Sweden before reaching its final destination. So far, there's been nary a peep from Swedish media about the plan."

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234 comments

Hate to say this but... (-1, Redundant)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23664991)

If the Pirate Bay was a little less childish about the way they go about responding to C&Ds and other non-binding (and non-applicable) demands, there wouldn't have been any push to make such sweeping wiretapping legal. It is precisely due to the frustration of the government to come down harshly against the kids and the constant spitting in the face by the Pirate Bay operators that this law has been concocted.

It has very little to do with anything other than tracking who is downloading what and being able to nail the "hooligans" behind PB and to ultimately shut it down.

Re:Hate to say this but... (5, Insightful)

remahl (698283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665019)

This has nothing at all to do with Pirate Bay. This is NSA-style wiretapping. The evidence gathered can (supposedly) not be used in regular criminal investigations for copyright infringement.

Re:Hate to say this but... (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665105)

That's perhaps one of the most Pollyanna-ish comment's I've read on Slashdot in a long time.

Re:Hate to say this but... (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665391)

National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA)
I'm the poster explained the acronym. My Foreign Language Acronym Prediction Algorithm (FLWSP) would have missed this one.

Re:Hate to say this but... (3, Informative)

Chainsaw (2302) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665503)

FRA stands for FÃrsvarets Radioanstalt, if you really want the swedish word for it.

Re:Hate to say this but... (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665107)

"The evidence gathered can (supposedly) not be used in regular criminal investigations for copyright infringement."

When the US put pressure on Sweden for ThePirateBay Swedish authorities happily broke multiple laws and smiled about it. I have no doubts that any information about petty things like small time copyright infringement will be handed over.

Yes, any evidence can be used (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665639)

In sweden there is no such legal concept as "fruit from the bad tree". That is, any evidence (gathered regardless if a search was lawfull or not, will hold in court. Single police officers may loose their jobs, but the evidence found still hold.

Not that I think these laws will be passed to please the music and movie industries, but they could certainly use any evidence passed to them from this perfect, ever watching organization.

Re:Hate to say this but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665051)

What? Email and VOIP has nothing to do with the pirate bay, you really don't have a clue....

Re:Hate to say this but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665211)

Yeah, good point! What do these guys think, anyway, operating within the law?

Just imagine where we'd end up if everyone actually did things just because they were legal! It's every patriotic citizen's duty to follow any future laws, even before they're passed!

But will it pass? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665003)

I keep seeing these articles that So-n-so is about to pass some law but how many of them actually get passed?

Re:But will it pass? (5, Informative)

nx (194271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665279)

This one is almost certain to pass, a majority of parliament have already professed their coming yes-votes.

Party whips takes care of those who are critical to the law: It was up for a vote last year, but got put on a year-long hold for further debate (which, naturally, never took place). One member of parliament (Fredrick Federley) who was elected on a privacy platform, among other issues, abstained from voting and took so much heat from his party that he'll be voting yes this time around. At least according to his blog.

Re:But will it pass? (4, Insightful)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665657)

One member of parliament (Fredrick Federley) who was elected on a privacy platform, among other issues, abstained from voting and took so much heat from his party that he'll be voting yes this time around.
What a f*cking coward..
The only parites that have had a consitently negative attitude towards this proposal has been the left party and the greens. One of the will get my vote in the next election.

Federley's Blog (4, Informative)

Dobeln (853794) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665761)

From his blog: http://federley.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

"Vad som kommer att ske den 17 juni? Ja vem vet. Kan ju bli pÃ¥kÃrd, sjuk, vara pÃ¥ resande fot, bli gravid eller bara vara dÃr och rÃsta ja. Vem vet. Den dagen den sorgen."

Translation:

"What will happen on the 17:th of June? Well, who knows? I might be hit by a car, become ill, spend the day travelling, become pregnant or just be there and vote yes. That day, that sorrow..."

The sad fact of life is that Swedish MP:s serve almost entirely on the whim of their party leadership. If they make trouble, they get wiped off the list in the next election, and they're gone.

Re:But will it pass? (3, Informative)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665281)

Unless several MPs suddenly grow a spine, this one will pass in less than two weeks.

Information wants to be free... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665013)

Since everything is public information in a democracy, I'll be able to request your emails from the public email service. :P

Re:Information wants to be free... (2, Funny)

vilgefortz (1225810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665703)

Since everything is public information in a democracy, I'll be able to request your emails from the public email service. :P
You do that. I am sure you will find many interesting offers of blue pills as well as miraculous operations that will enlarge your capability.

Sonera moved their email servers because of this (5, Informative)

kaarlov (259057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665015)

Finnish telco Sonera, which is nowadays part of Swedish TeliaSonera moved recently their email servers back to Finland from Sweden because of this.
Apparently their customers were concerned enough.

Re:Sonera moved their email servers because of thi (1)

qrwe (625937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665181)

OK, so the solution is to place a mail server at TeliaSoneras net, create a VPN-tunnel (or SSH-tunnel) to it and send the mail that way instead? Or the boring fix: frankly change from my own domain to GMail..

Re:Sonera moved their email servers because of thi (1, Interesting)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665199)

Yes, but Telia-Sonera blocked [gigaom.com] many Open Standards sites (both pro- and neutral-) from their subscribers during the weeks leading up to the latest OOXML scandal [groklaw.net] at ISO. That was for all of Telia-Sonera, not just Sweden.

Who did what? (1)

upside (574799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665351)

You mean Cogent prevented Telia-Sonera customers from accessing said documents?

You've got to be a politician, lawyer or a spindoctor for the way you present facts.

Telia-Sonera (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665403)

Read it again: Telia-Sonera's customers could not access those sites. Full Stop.

Re:Telia-Sonera (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665823)

Read your own link.

If you seriously think that was about the OOXML then you might want to have your head checked.

Re:Sonera moved their email servers because of thi (5, Informative)

jhol13 (1087781) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665707)

Actually Finnish law required that.

According to Finnish law e-mail has very high level of privacy protection.

So in order not to break Finnish law they were practically forced to move the servers to Finland as they could not guarantee e-mail privacy otherwise.

Not entirely accurate (5, Informative)

j1976 (618621) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665033)

There has actually been quite a lot of fuss around this law. For example, a seldomly used law paragraph enabled the social democratic minority to delay this proposal for a year, something which gained quite some attention when it happened. If that had not been done, the law would have passed a year ago. An update to what was happening during this period is available at http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.156736 [www.idg.se] (swedish only). IDG is the largest swedish news agency for technology-related news. At the national swedish radio homepage http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/ekot/artikel.asp?Artikel=1242136 [www.sr.se] you can read about finlands protests against the law. They also published news about the growing criticism of the law at http://www.sr.se/Ekot/artikel.asp?artikel=1240436 [www.sr.se] (both links in swedish).

Re:Not entirely accurate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665507)

To say that the national radio and IDG (how many Swedes are "geeky" enough to read IDG?) has created "quite a lot of fuss" is a bit of an exageration. As the majority of the Swedish population basically rely on two sources for their news, the two national tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen, which unfortunately are pretty much the only two media channels capable of creating a fuss among the general populace.
Then again if Aftonbladet and Expressen were to report on this chances are good that the majority would act like they always do, baah like the flock of sheep they are and quickly focus on more important issues like the Italian Goth couple that had sex in a Confession both (a article prominently featured on the frontpage of todays online edition of Expressen) or the latest Docu-soap gossip.

Re:Not entirely accurate (0, Redundant)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665511)

o say that the national radio and IDG (how many Swedes are "geeky" enough to read IDG?) has created "quite a lot of fuss" is a bit of an exageration. As the majority of the Swedish population basically rely on two sources for their news, the two national tabloids Aftonbladet and Expressen, which unfortunately are pretty much the only two media channels capable of creating a fuss among the general populace. Then again if Aftonbladet and Expressen were to report on this chances are good that the majority would act like they always do, baah like the flock of sheep they are and quickly focus on more important issues like the Italian Goth couple that had sex in a Confession both (a article prominently featured on the frontpage of todays online edition of Expressen) or the latest Docu-soap gossip.

Re:Not entirely accurate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665685)

You comment makes it seem the social democrats did something good delaying the proposal, when in fact it was their idea in the first place. It was not delayed to help citizens, it was delayed because it got more attention than BodstrÃm wished.

I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665037)

...but it seems Sweden is speeeding towards the finishing line. Any other contendants we are not aware of?

Re:I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (2, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665127)

Doesn't screaming "1984" at the top of your lungs every single time technology and government occur in the same context ever get tiring? At least read some other dystopian books and put some variety in the alarmism!

C'mon, let's give some airtime to Hiro Protagonist and Bernard Marx at least. That's more where this kind of shit is headed to...

Re:I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (1)

sigdrifa (1046966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665229)

C'mon, let's give some airtime to Hiro Protagonist and Bernard Marx at least. That's more where this kind of shit is headed to...
John Twelve Hawks, "The Fourth Realm" triology. A lot of fantasy, but also many "total surveillance" elements in the near future.

Re:I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665833)

John Twelve Hawks, "The Fourth Realm" triology.
John Twelve Hawks writes fiction with all the technical accuracy of Dan Brown, but even less entertainment value.

Hawks likes to lecture about privacy in his books, but has little idea how surveilance and privacy technology actually work. This would be forgivable if the story made up for Hawk's lack of knowledge about the subject matter, but the characters are dreary and the story dragged-out and dull.

Re:I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665237)

This "kind of shit" is about a surveillance society, and neither Brave New World nor Snow Crash is about that. It's true that always hearing about 1984 is getting tiresome, but unfortunately there is not a lot of other (popular) novels that put a strong emphasis on this subject. The sad truth is sci-fi is mostly interested in "cool" technology (even if this pseudo technology is absurd) rather than political ideas.

Re:I thought the UK was on the road to 1984... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665583)

not good. but so far, this is only spying - not censoring.

Its not a swedish idea. (5, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665045)

This has more to do with being able to help forieign surveilance than any domestic spying. When an ally calls for help sweden will use this to be able to bend over properly and hand over any domestic information about the targets living in sweden. Swedish domestic security has never been self-sustained but rather a help organization for ally interests like the US.

WTF?! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665649)

This is SWEDEN! Since when has IT been a hotbed for terrorists or drug dealers? Middle-eastern terrorists moving to the cold sub-arctic climate of Scandinavia? Drug lords from the Columbian jungles? Not bloody likely.

It can't be militarily inspired either; Sweden is "non aligned" and has (officially) maintained a neutral stance in all wars for (nearly) the last 200 years, and they are not a party to NATO or a similar organization/treaty. Sweden has, in fact, the longest tenure of neutrality of any country in the world (yes, that includes Switzerland).

So, they're going to wage war against, and gather enormous amounts of intelligence on, its own citizens, instead? Are they going to raise the already highest tax rates in the world to pay for this needless Britain-esque surveillance?

This has nothing to do with terrorists or drugs, and everything to do with copyright "enforcement" and having more "legal" ways to gather data on Pirate Bay, their users, and other services that may set up shop there. There's no other plausible explanation.

Re:WTF?! (1)

vilgefortz (1225810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665777)

Well, to be fair, there is still Russia. They will remain a serious potential threat for a considerable while.

Re:WTF?! (2, Insightful)

odourpreventer (898853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665837)

This is SWEDEN! Since when has IT been a hotbed for terrorists or drug dealers?

File it under "delusions of grandeur". Our politicos like to think that Sweden is important enough to be considered a terrorist target.

Sweden is "non aligned" and has (officially) maintained a neutral stance

"Officially", yes. Practically, not so much. We (the government, that is) bend over for the guy with the biggest guns, and have done so since World War One.

Re:Its not a swedish idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665767)

This is exactly the case, and the current (right) government (changed in 2006) is even more eager to bend over to US demands. One wouldn't think that was possible with the last (left) minister of justice. Our current one is literally a real bitch who wants more surveillance, longer prison times, lock up psychologically ill, and naturally (due to the current government being far to the right and is so pro-US it makes you sick) bends over to any US demands. Let's not forget that when basically the entire world was against the Iraq war, these right-wing parties were pro. Now they are the governemnt, and is just as hypocritical as Condo Rise, not taking any responsibility at all, and shifting the reasons from bullshit lies about WMD's to some dictator/monster/democracy mumbo jumbo.
Speaking of silence in media, how is this interpreted?

It's problematic that the otherwise so colorful political differences in Sweden, is non-existent when it comes to how they feel about the law of justice.

Also to note, it sounds from the abstract that this inter-country wiretapping (UK to Finland as an example) would somehow be revolutionary. What has the US (NSA+CIA) been doing for decades? Don't believe them not to wiretapp everything. This is absolutely no excuse for us doing so in Sweden too, but the abstract could have been bit more "fair and balanced".

At least it's defined in law (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665053)

At least their declaring it in law, with a few limitations etc. They could just do as our government has done and start screening emails using a secretive organization with few safeguards without even officially telling people.

Re:At least it's defined in law (2, Informative)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665301)

Oh, they have been doing that since 1976 (as recently revealed by a recording of FRA's director acknowledging it). This is an attempt to legalize that practice, add a few useless "control stations" and give them even more authority.

Re:At least it's defined in law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665535)

That's the issue. I have no problem such when practices are employed by "secret agencies" without legal cover. It has always been the case - intelligence agencies break laws regularly. It is marginal though, since they cannot afford breaking the laws on a large scale.

The issue is when the illegal becomes legal. Then not only intelligence agencies, but also the police, the judiciary and whoever the government wants could spy on people with a legal cover, on a large scale.

Such practices have always existed and will always exist. But they shall remain illegal.

ECHELON? (5, Interesting)

Indyan (754792) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665055)

I found this report from the EU parliament very interesting: http://www.fas.org/irp/program/process/rapport_echelon_en.pdf [fas.org] At page 27 there is a list of all countries intercepting private communications, and basically everyone does it? I think some former FRA employee basically admitted they have done this sort of thing for a long time already too. I'm by no means saying this is ok, but it's kinda interesting how Google reacted on this for example. They said they can't put their servers in Sweden, but US/UK etc is fine? What is the differance?

Re:ECHELON? (2, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665135)

They said they can't put their servers in Sweden, but US/UK etc is fine? What is the differance?
Perhaps the difference is who they primarily serve? If most requests come from the US or UK, then placing servers within the country reduces Googles exposure to surveillance because the transmissions are domestic not international.

Re:ECHELON? (1)

Indyan (754792) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665275)

I'm assuming they already have servers in US/UK, putting a server in sweden would in this case improve the privacy of swedish users by the same logic?

Re:ECHELON? (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665263)

I think some former FRA employee basically admitted they have done this sort of thing for a long time already too.

They did, noting that the new law would make their already active wiretapping legal.

Re:ECHELON? (3, Informative)

steelneck (683359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665395)

The difference is that the FRA have not been spying in wire before. That is illegal, today the telcos are not allowed to give out any traffic or personal data without a specific court order, some of the data they are not even allowed to save. This bill, and the EU-dataretention bill is about to change all of that. The FRA (roughly The Defence Radio Agency) have been listening only to radio, satellites and such. But in the recent debate we have come to learn that even that practise is illegal according to swedish constitution and the european human rights. It is not allowed for the state to actively take part of private communications without a positive law support. This bill will of course change that too (and be in breach of human rights, and probably upset citizens in other cuntries since IP-traffic usually takes "the scenic route"). The base is: Citizens are allowed to do anything not forbidden, for the state it is the other way around, anything they do must be allowed by law first. This have not been the case, and the normal thing to do, is not to allow things afterwards and pretend its raining, it is to prosecute the perps. The FRA have also recently bought the 5th most powerful computer in the world (on top500.org), gee wonder why..

You understand the US Constitution WELL (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665827)

The base is: Citizens are allowed to do anything not forbidden, for the state it is the other way around, anything they do must be allowed by law first.

My God, if only Americans understood the US Constitution as well as you do, with that statement.

Sweden? wtf? (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665069)

*reads article*

Oh, just another out-of-control power grab, no doubt MAFIAA approved, with a healthy side-dose of "fuck you" to privacy.

Now that's a Strange Fruit the southern trees bear (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665071)

Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

(Looks like the RFK thing didn't pan out, Hilly)

FRA got new hardware last year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665119)

National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) got money to buy themself into the fifth place on the Top500 list last year. With a 13728 processor system from HP, doing 102 TFlops (RMAX).

Re:FRA got new hardware last year (2, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665755)

That's what I wanted to say, was looking for a comment if someone had already mentioned it.

According to "Ny Teknik" or whatever page I found it's made up of a cluster of 2128 blade servers from HP.

Theoretical max 182 Tflops, seems like it made second place when compared to the june list / when it was done / news out.

It's number fifth on november 2007 list:
http://www.top500.org/lists/2007/11 [top500.org]

System in question:
http://www.top500.org/system/8819 [top500.org]

Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (5, Informative)

Henriok (6762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665123)

First: As one living in Sweden I don't recognize this description. For one, there is quite a stir in IT related, and mainstream media about this. And this have been going on for several years. The current government suggested this while in opposition a couple of years ago, and it was one of the first new legislations that they announced when they got into power 2006. It's been under debateand scrutiny in media and several governmental instances since then.

Secondly: FRA is _not_ a military organization. It's a civil autority that can be used for several other governmental organizations such as the police, secret police, military or even state owned corporations. But the name is confusing, I grant you that.

One interessting thing is that FRA operates the fifth fastest computer on the Top500 list. Most people believe that is was purchased to meet the need of this new surveillance demand.

It's hardly unknown to the public, even if most are not interessted in such matters. Swedes are pretty used to governmental control and oversight, and we acually enjoy the benefits of it. Our trust in authoroty of this kind is strong since it have served us well in the past.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (4, Insightful)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665283)

Swedes are pretty used to governmental control and oversight, and we acually enjoy the benefits of it.

Such as?

Our trust in authoroty of this kind is strong since it have served us well in the past.

You mean your trust. I, for one, do not trust them anymore than any other government. And in what instance did it serve us well in the past?

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665417)

No all countries share the distrust Americans have on their own government? (after all, the government is chosen by you, if you don't trust your judgment, why vote for it?). Anyway, Swedish government created a working, and very generous social safety net which to large extent avoided the kind of gap between haves and have-not you saw here in the states. Swedish government, despite their small size and the fact the it's surrounded by big powers, managed to largely avoid the kind of disastrous wars that consumed Europe during the first half of 20th century. My personal experience with Swedish government is it's way more efficient and responsive comparing to the sh*t I have to deal with every time I'm unfortunate enough to have to deal with US government.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665497)

I don't vote for it. I consistently vote against the people who end up in power. So why should I trust them? It ultimately comes down to trusting my fellow citizens, who have uniformly shown themselves to be worthless chowderheads when it comes to voting for politicians.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665691)

Have you ever voted for either of the two main parties? It's hard to imagine you always vote for the loser. Who did you vote for when Clinton was one of the candidate?

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665795)

I generally avoid voting for the two main parties, because the two main parties are both completely untrustworthy.

To answer your question, I voted for Obama. He may end up winning, but since that vote didn't put him into government it doesn't invalidate what I said.

If you mean that other Clinton, I was not old enough to vote in 1996.

Even if my record is not 100%, it doesn't change my argument one whit. Even if 100% of the people I vote for make it into office, that still leaves 98 senators and several hundred representatives who I didn't vote for. Even if I voted for every single one of them, I could be voting for them simply because they're the lesser of two evils (which is always the case if they belong to one of the two major parties).

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

Henriok (6762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665479)

Such as a personal ID number. It's hard to find swedes that doesn't belive that it's a good thing. A national medical journal database is wanted, and having this connected to the database with prescriptions. Automated tax declatations are quite enjoyed too. There are more things that most Sweds enjoy: automated enrollment into schools, child benefits, state funded mandatory vaccinations and dental care.

I certainly doesn't speak for ALL Swedes but for the sake of argument, I'm speaking for most. I'm quite sure of that.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665825)

Personally I'd want them to just create one big administrative authority instead of current:
* CSN (student loans and money)
* FÃrsÃkringskassan (if you are sick, or your children are, or handicapped, or for whatever else reason can't work)
* ArbetsfÃrmedlingen (employment office)
* Socialomsorgen (social security / welfare)
* Skatteverket (tax administration)

Or atleast let them share their journals/databases with each other, which they aren't allowed now unless you give them permission to. This just lead to that you may not get the money you have the right to if you don't know about it, or some people cheat and get more money when they should have (some year one guy got social welfare from lots of countys at the same time because they had no idea what each of them did and he asked for money from many of them.) and most importantly lots of paper work when you have to get papers from all of them to send to the others, probably makes them much less effecient aswell.

And no, I wouldn't be bothered, since for some reason I expect people to behave nicely so I don't see the risks, I just see it as an opportunity and less retarded system.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (2, Insightful)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665485)

And in what instance did it serve us well in the past?
He is probably referring to the incident in Ã...dalen 1931, when the heroic forces of truth managed to stop a full-scale terrorist attack on healthy Swedish family values.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

exscape (1302123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665299)

> It's hardly unknown to the public, even if most are not interessted in such matters. Swedes are pretty used to governmental control and oversight, and we acually enjoy the benefits of it. Our trust in authoroty of this kind is strong since it have served us well in the past. What?! Please speak for yourself. You make it sound as if people like myself *enjoy* this crap! And, yes, it IS unknown to the public. Few realize that *all* internet traffic crossing the border is fair game, most still seem to believe only die-hard criminals are subject to this. And regarding media, I think I've seen two articles in all major newspapers combined, and both were about the fact that the law got accepted (but the voting isn't done yet). Neither mentioned how bad this is, or what consequences it will have.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665363)

Most people in Sweden don't mind far reaching goverment power, however this program doesn't only capture all the traffic passing the border, it'll also capture most of the traffic that's not passing the border aswell.

And the bill doesn't cover just internet, it covers any information going by wire.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665307)

Bah, as long as strong cryptography is still authorized...

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (2, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665349)

For one, there is quite a stir in IT related, and mainstream media about this.
Really? If so, you should have no problem pointing to at least one article in mainstream media in recent months.

The current government suggested this while in opposition a couple of years ago
No, they did not. This comes from the MoD via the MoJ under Thomas BodstrÃm, but his lawyers screamed bloody murder so they canned it until it was revived by Odenberg under suspicious circumstances. Read more about it here: http://rickfalkvinge.se/2008/05/30/fra-forslaget-en-tidslinje/ [rickfalkvinge.se]

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665849)

Well, much media have covered that FRA got a new machine atleast, and I would guess that TPB, Piratpartiet, IDG, various forums such as Sweclockers, Flashback and such have discussed what it may lead to / why it may have been bought.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

jfolin (727150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665397)

The current government suggested this while in opposition a couple of years ago, and it was one of the first new legislations that they announced when they got into power 2006.
This is wrong. The former socialdemocratic government with then minister of justice Thomas BodstrÃm in charge ordered the investigation that led to the proposition. The former socialdemocratic government was then in favor of the new law while the middle-right Alliance was against it, but the socialdemocrats lost the election in 2006 and is now (formally) opposed to their own bill. The roles are reversed compared to three years ago. That said, both blocks are hypocrits who wants FRA to spy on the citizens of Sweden, but only if they are in power when the bill passes.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665525)

Speaking of the FRA (which is kind of same as the US NSA, no?) about two years ago or so, there was a small incident that sent a tingle down my spine. I had discovered a security flaw in a pretty high-profile internet server software. I sent a bug report to bugtraq and full disclosure lists. Immediately after I sent it, there appeared two emails in my inbox from individuals @fra.se saying "Out of office for vacation". Now, taking a second to reflect on this, it probably just means they were subscribed to those mailing lists, but the immediate reaction was one of shock, thinking FRA had intercepted my email (since it did concern a security hole in an at least somewhat important application). Well, hehehe, it would be pretty stupid way to intercept mail, or at least a stupid to forget to turn off the auto vacation notice, hehehe.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

bumby (589283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665545)

Swedes are pretty used to governmental control and oversight, and we acually enjoy the benefits of it. Our trust in authoroty of this kind is strong since it have served us well in the past.
I do not concur, and I know many who agree with me (disagrees with you). I don't trust my government more then I trust a stranger on the street. And I certainly do not enjoy my privacy being stepped on like a rug.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665551)

Our trust in authoroty of this kind is strong since it have served us well in the past.
I would say that the Swedish trust in authority of this kind is more a result of Pavlovian conditioning than factual proof that it has served us well.

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665587)

First: As one living in Sweden I don't recognize this description. For one, there is quite a stir in IT related, and mainstream media about this.
Really? Has any mainstream newspapers covered this that you are aware of??? The people (you know the ones who voted in the sitting government) are very much in the dark on this. I have not heard a single comment from anyone (besides from the techno /. crowd)

Secondly: FRA is _not_ a military organization. It's a civil autority that can be used for several other governmental organizations such as the police, secret police, military or even state owned corporations. But the name is confusing, I grant you that.

F = Forsvaret = The (Military) Defence('s)
R = Radio = Radio
A = Anstalt = Facility

Due to rethoric, in Sweden we do no have "armed forces", we have "the defence" (which as the name implies can never be used offensively :-)

Just because a military organization helps the civil authorities does not make it non-military.
The name is correct and you are confusing.

One interessting thing is that FRA operates the fifth fastest computer on the Top500 list. Most people believe that is was purchased to meet the need of this new surveillance demand.

Most people know that a swedish military organization was tasked with monitoring Russian / Soviet military movements and intercepting and decrypting their radio traffic. Would such an organization ever need massive computers to do its job? Yes... The organization was the FRA: the Defence's Radio Facility.

---

The FRA will probably monitor all your emails from now on, concidering how you seem to represent "most people".

Re:Peep? Not so.. pretty loud buzz more like it. (1)

anerki (169995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665787)

What do you expect from a country that has Asbolut Vodka as their main export product. And it's a state company at that...

It's already up (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665159)

Today FRA has the lawful right and ability to monitor all communication that is broadcast using radio/wave-transmission, since much(most?) traffic at some point goes via satellite and/or radio link they already listen in.

The new bill gives them the right to tap into the cables directly, but it also leaves a possibility for them to share their information with other government bodies, and that is the real kicker. So if you write in an e-mail that you drove home drunk yesterday, that could be used against you in a court of law (in Sweden there are no rules against what can be used as evidence).

FRA claims that this will not be the case, but the new bill would make it lawful to do so.

So in conclusion: Everyone in the world is already being wiretapped by the Swedish government, but this would make it a bit easier for them, and also give them the right to share the information with other Swedish government bodies.

Re:It's already up (3, Informative)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665357)

Today FRA has the lawful right and ability to monitor all communication that is broadcast using radio/wave-transmission
No, they do not have that lawful right. [rickfalkvinge.se] They do have the ability, though. And they do it. Illegaly.

Finland as well (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665169)

From what I gather there is a similar threat in Finland as well: the representatives of major and minor multinationals have been meeting with Finish legislators lately to work out laws granting private companies the authority to monitor *all* communications in any form. AFAIK more of their subversion will occur during coming weeks or months.

Welcome to your summer holidays. If this is surfacing now, what real nastiness is lurking for the deepest summer?

Re:Finland as well (1)

upside (574799) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665377)

Please provide details (source?), am interested.

what seems to absurd to me (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665195)

is this attitude on slashdot: shocked, shocked i tell you, that a governmental organization is not going to protect my information for me

encrypt if you don't want it snooped on. if it goes out on the wire, it is prone to being intercepted and snooped on, by the government or someone else. you realize that, right? so where is all the shock and amazement coming from that a government is doing what governments always do?

i'm not saying you don't have a right to privacy. i'm saying you are absurd if you rely on a government organization to protect your privacy for you. regardless of the law. YOU need to protect your privacy. you can't expect the government to do that competently, regardless of the law. and then, in a forum populated with a bunch of people supposedly experienced enough with the subject matter, to come from this position of complete naivete on the subject?

all i am saying is that its just kind of disingenuous for a lot of you, who to start from the default position of healthy distrust of government... to suddenly express shock and amazement at a government trying to snoop on you. this is a new concept to you? you're not jaded and cynical at this point, as you SHOULD be on the subject matter of governments and snooping if you have any awareness of the subject matter? folks: your shock and amazement is only possible if massive trust in government is your default position. you see the absurdity in that, right?

"omg! my government wants to spy on me? the idea never occured to me!"

really?

Re:what seems to absurd to me (3, Insightful)

steelneck (683359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665447)

So you are not visiting other sites than encrypted ones? People seem to forget that aspect, what sites you are visiting is often more sensitive than what info you transmit. Think of those times you are searching the net for something, drowning in irrelevant hits, visiting sites just to discover it did not contain what you where looking for. The state cannot see what you thought of the page you just where visiting, the only see that you requested and got it sent to you. So, do not visit wrong pages in the future, that can be used against you.

so you believe in a scenario (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665659)

where you will go searching for information about xyz, and no one out there will have any record of your search?

i'm not talking about government policy here, i'm talking about basic understanding of the technology: don't you think it is rather absurd of you to expect anonymity from a system that is fundamentally nothing but open packets traversing random nodes?

once you accept the notion of the complete lack of anonymity on the internet, why do you expect government policy to suddenly come in, and not only vanquish the fundamental truths of the technology of the internet, but also to suddenly behave in a virtuous way that no government has ever behaved in?

protect your own privacy. to depend upon others to protect your privacy for you is insanity. you want a government, a GOVERNMENT, to value your privacy more than you value your own privacy yourself (because you rely on others to protect your privacy for you). its an absurd position

It's not about expecting anonymity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665781)

It's not about expecting anonymity. I only expect the government not to monitor citizens without a good reason. If they suspect you of a crime, fine. But not everyone all the time. That tilts the power to much and will together with selective prosecution allow for harassing citizens who are only guilty of opposing the government and exercising their democratic rights.

Re:what seems to absurd to me (1)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665461)

The government is supposed to work for us. We have every right to be outraged when they instead turn against us.

That doesn't mean that we're surprised.

Re:what seems to absurd to me (1)

Troglodyt (898143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665771)

It's not about wanting the government protecting us from snooping. We just don't want it snooping on us. It's not the same thing.

Enabling provision v. Always will do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665209)

Let's get it straight.

It will be possible to look at every email v.s We will look at every email is different.
I don't think it's draconian to have such a law as long as there are reasonable restrictions on whose transmission even if intercepted is looked into and when they can do that.

It's the way the world works, unless you live in a self created cocoon, every country has access to such a system.

Everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665245)

This post and my IP have been logged on database of the Swedish government. Indefinitely.

Encrypt everything. ALL of it. (3, Insightful)

asackett (161377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665327)

I know it's a pipe dream, but if enough of us would encrypt everything we can that crosses the internet we could vote with our resource consumption and force the bastards to be selective about what they decrypt. Our individual privacy would thus be somewhat assured by the signal to noise ratio.

Re:Encrypt everything. ALL of it. (5, Insightful)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665515)

From what I've heard the snoops care more about who is talking to who than about what's actually being said. Mapping social networks and all that.

So in addition to encryption, we would all have to run anonymising proxies, such as Tor or Freenet.

Re:Encrypt everything. ALL of it. (1)

wITTus (856003) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665653)

From what I've heard the snoops care more about who is talking to who than about what's actually being said. Mapping social networks and all that.

How do you want to find out these social networks? By IPs? If everything is encrypted as he said, how do you want to make the difference between a chat and a P2P connection (whose clients don't know themselves either)? What we would need to eliminate are "mapped social networks" as MySpace and others. Have a look at this [southparkstudios.com] Southpark episode.

Re:Encrypt everything. ALL of it. (1)

wITTus (856003) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665689)

Amen! This is so true. I couldn't have said it better than that. I would love to see how the CIA trys to decrypt the pak0.pk3 which I send just for fun to one of my friends.

They already do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665371)

They've already bought and installed the big computer that will monitor the traffic, the head of the defence agency has already admitted they monitor the traffic. His theory is that it's legal if they only monitor freely transmitted signals, however it's clear they've tapped the wires already because he admits they monitor telephone tapping.

This law is to try to make what the defence department has been doing legal.

More on this from Swedish Pirate Party leader (5, Informative)

CrystalFalcon (233559) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665379)

Read more about this from the Pirate Party leader Rick Falkvinge:

More on the Ubiquitous Wiretapping Bill [rickfalkvinge.se]

Swedish NSA to monitor all phones, Internet [rickfalkvinge.se]

Excerpt from first link:

The bill's name is en anpassad försvarsunderrättelseverksamhet [regeringen.se] , translating roughly to a better adapted military intelligence gathering. Key points of the bill:
  • At about 20 points in the national information infrastructure network, all traffic is spliced off and fed into the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA) agency. These points are placed as to catch all traffic entering and leaving the Swedish borders, but will catch much - if not most - domestic traffic too, for technical routing reasons. Electronic traffic, in particular, always takes the scenic route.
  • This affects all Internet traffic and all telephony traffic, meaning web surfing, e-mail, phone, and fax are affected, to mention but a few.
  • The FRA will scan all traffic in real time according to about 250,000 search criteria. The traffic that matches will be automatically saved for manual intelligence analysis. This obviously takes a lot of computing power. We don't know the exact extent of FRA's computing power, but we do know that they have the world's fifth most powerful computer [top500.org] , in competition mostly with nuclear physics labs.
  • "Customers" that will be able to place requests for searches include all authorities (all some 500 of them including Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, etc., but notably the police, secret service and customs).
  • The political administration may order (not request, but order) a political wiretapping to catch communications they are interested in.
  • Major businesses will also get access to the wiretapping grid, but will have to go through an authority.
  • The bill specifically allows for singling out Swedish people for specific wiretapping, although only under certain qualifiers.
  • The mandate for the agency's own intelligence gathering is broadened from "external military threats" to "external threats", which are exemplified as international crime; trafficking in drugs, weapons, or people; migration movements; religious or cultural conflicts; environmental imbalances and threats; raw materials shortages; and currency speculation. More examples are listed.

PRNG (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665745)

  • ...
  • we do know that they have the world's fifth most powerful computer [top500.org] , in competition mostly with nuclear physics labs.
  • "Customers" that will be able to place requests for searches include all authorities (all some 500 of them including Department of Transportation, Department of Agriculture, etc., but notably the police, secret service and customs)....
Interesting. So the PRNG flaws that get introduced every few years are, in effect, backdoors accessible to the FRA but probably out of reach of casual troublemakers.

Use PGP/GPG for email! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665427)

For email there is a simple solution.
For everything else ... we need to work it out!

Goddammit Sweeden! (1)

ThatGuyJon (1299463) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665469)

Now that you've started following our bad example, where am I going to migrate to?

How about Switzerland ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665671)

It's the only remaining country on my list.

Cat got your tongue? (1)

nova.alpha (1287112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665513)

Dear FRA, Haev phun reading PGP, SSH? Anyone worried? I think you shouldn't.

A pathetic and desperate act for sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665705)

Can they really check out everything that goes on on the internet? Will they make sure they check each and every packet? Making sure it is not somehow coded? This is just as stupid as all other tries to fuck up freedom for absolutely no gain at all.

You catch criminals by having a competent and large enough police force, not by crap like this. And living in Sweden our police force today is a joke... yet they have time with crap like this and attacking the pirate bay...

Encrypt everything (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665739)

Demand encryption from vendors. Encourage others to do so.

Tit for tat? (4, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665757)

The United States has already said that pretty much any private communication it can get hold of is fair game. Does anybody have the feeling that a lot of other countries are responding by taking the view that, "If you read my mail, I"m sure as hell going to read yours."

Monitoring EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23665791)

You are right, and what about the telcos that aren't moving?
Loads of traffic from/to nordics, western europe, the baltics and eastern europe is routed or managed in sweden.

Oh the Irony... (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23665843)

Is, that, at the end of the day, the right wing American President George Bush will have been the guy to have the LEAST onerous security impositions out of any of the western nations.
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