Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Sweden's Snoop Law Targets Russia

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-then-it's-ok dept.

Privacy 186

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."

cancel ×

186 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

haha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24122747)

sweeden is full of loser-faggots

Re:haha (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24122925)

sweeden is full of loser-faggots

Only because we are so generous with immigration from Finland and Norway

Re:haha (1, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123675)

In Soviet Russia, loser faggots are full of YOU!!!

Re:haha (0)

Eudial (590661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24127227)

I live in Sweden, and since the days of the cold war, I've been making jokes about imminent Russian invasion. Guess they've suddenly turned less hopelessly out of date.

And let me be the first to say: I for one welcome our new Russian overlords. I've been preparing for the transition by consuming large quantities of Vodka on a regular basis.

Re:haha (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24125359)

Harsh, but in the last election they did vote in a bunch of right-wing clagnuts.

You know what Sweden: you vote for arseholes, you get arseholes.

Re:haha (-1, Troll)

Venik (915777) | more than 6 years ago | (#24125763)

Agree. Swedes are a bunch self-loving fartsniffers.

now that's funny (5, Funny)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!

Re:now that's funny (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (4, Informative)

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

Re:now that's funny (1)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124461)

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

Not so, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24123563)

in Soviet Russia, Swedes snoop YOU.

I read this as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24123621)

Sweden's Snoop Dogg Targets Russia.

Re:now that's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124437)

Yes, the recent batch of US warheads has created a large ineptness gap. The EU must seek to close it.

Re:now that's funny (1)

electrostaticcarrot (1198615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124739)

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

Given that the politician in question is a politician, how is that a surprise?

solution to these sorts of problems (3, Funny)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:solution to these sorts of problems (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24122933)

Right ... you must not know how dumb people are. If you think voters are dumb....have you seen women

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24123087)

Right ... you must not know how dumb people are. If you think voters are dumb....have you seen women

Of course he hasn't you insensitive clod. Just where would he see them? You know they don't have those in his parent's basement and there are none on the intarweb either.

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (2, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#24122991)

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

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (2, Insightful)

koma77 (930091) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123301)

It was the _opposition_ that first proposed this law. Then after the election, a shift of government and: the same law gets passed. Nice.

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (3, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123033)

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.

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (0)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123561)

So those who don't vote are counted as a "No" vote? That seems as arbitrary as counting them as "Yes"

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124425)

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.

Re:solution to these sorts of problems (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124839)

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 (4, Insightful)

dahitokiri (1113461) | more than 6 years ago | (#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 (3, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24122901)

May not be much of an economic impact, but it's one hell of a PR impact.

Re:Excellent (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123681)

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.

Re:Excellent (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124715)

I was referring to the PR impact against the Swedish government. Sorry for the confusion.

More details from Sweden (1)

castrox (630511) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126061)

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, has actually expressed his thoughts on the matter in the media as thus: "We would all be better off if the debate dissipated." After which he was immediately flamed by all camps for saying the Swedish people are idiots.

The Defense minister, Sten Tolgfors, has made a fool out of himself by pleading that the state has no ill intentions and that they would never be able to wiretap each and every citizen (a pretty idiotic claim to begin with, completely missing the issue at hand).

Now the Defense minister admits that they want to get their hands on Russian traffic which might be seen as completely obvious. It's yet another input to Echelon of course.

As we speak, the wiretap legislation debate is top dog in most of the big news papers in Sweden - we might have a shot at tearing it up.

This september a demonstration is scheduled in Stockholm - then we will burn out politicians at the stake. Which us luck!

Re:More details from Sweden (1)

dahitokiri (1113461) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126257)

This is probably the best news I've heard all day. If Big Brother law gets struck down, Sweden definitely goes back on the list of countries that I can move to, especially the current FISA situation in the US.

Quad-Partison Decision (1)

PainMeds (1301879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24122917)

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 be long before more "workarounds" to the fourth amendment get passed off a law here. I'm glad Sweden is protesting, but we really ought to be pushing our congressmen to move in an equally extreme and opposite direction here, now.

Re:Quad-Partison Decision (2)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123099)

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.

Re:Quad-Partison Decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24125885)

This is domestic spying within the EU. I am surprised that European states tolerate that other EU-states spy on them when they send messages to other states that happen to pass some border.

I am a Swede (first and formost I am a European, but thats another issue), but all my communications to my parents and my friends in Sweden will now get intercepted by the Swedish government because I decided to cherish the European idea of free movement. The law scares people from talking to other Europeans or to other Swedes for that matter living out of the state and make people impose self censorship.

For the amusing part... a new ECHR decision from the 1st of July find the UK guilty of doing the very same thing, though the text is rather harsh for me to read as IANAL.

I really thought we had come further than this.

It's NOT within Sweden's borders (2, Informative)

cycler (31440) | more than 6 years ago | (#24122935)

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

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (4, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123165)

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?

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123515)

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

Nope, no protection at all.

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (2, Informative)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124523)

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 impossible, especially the claim that such communications won't even be processed. That's clearly either a lie, or at least gross ignorance of the subject.

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124769)

ya.. don't do that

I don't get why people think there is some pittance of privacy when they communicate over public networks?? The phone network is called PSTN. PUBLIC Switched Telephone Network. Are people expecting a different level of privacy because they are using packets instead of switched circuits? That's even more rediculous...

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124775)

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

No

- The FRA

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (2, Insightful)

the4thdimension (1151939) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123469)

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 abused.
2. The ever-present slippery slope
3. Tough to discern the difference between international and local traffic in a uniform way
4. Costs a lot of money for arguable returns

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (2, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124591)

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 would be simply adding variable length encrypted segments of /dev/random to every mail you send. Can't decrypt it, can't prove it isnt decryptable, if you ever have something you actually care to hide you can stick it in the crypt section and you'd be previously whitelisted to avoid your mails bogging the system down or your mail will end up on the queue of unbreakable mails.

The days of a monitorable internet are at their end. Pressure from intellectual monopoly rights holders and the wars on everything have created many projects that are evolving into cell-structured encrypted anonymous darknets; the desire to monitor everyone and everything has created a situation where, soon enough, all communications will be structured akin to subversive cell networks.

Monitor everyone as if they were criminals, and everyone will develop and use tools that protect those being monitored as if they were criminals. Too bad there now is no extra measure to take when you want to monitor actual criminals.

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123591)

And these types are to be distinguished how exactly?

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123691)

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

tell it to my butt (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123767)

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.

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124533)

A majority of the domestic traffic, phone as well as internet passes the border already as it is - partly of course due to the fact that services like Gmail are used, but even without that, a majority still (may) cross the borders at any time because it is more "effective" that way - read: better routing. Specifically, a huge part of the traffic goes via Norway on a shared network, but it may pass other countries as well. And yes, this is phone and internet. And yes, this is calls/mails that may be to someone in the same house.

But it doesn't matter, really. A democracy just doesn't spy on their own citizens without any reasons.

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124681)

Now if google moves its servers out of sweden, it means that 2 persons within sweden emailing each other through gmail will be wiretapped anyway...

There is no such thing as "domestic/across borders" on the internet

Re:It's NOT within Sweden's borders (1)

electrostaticcarrot (1198615) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124983)

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

Even when the communication has both endpoints within Swedish borders, traffic will often pass through the borders according to the whim of the 'net at the present time. Accessing something hosted by your next-door neighbor very well might take the packets on a ride through France, England, the US, etc. The bulk of Swedish Internet traffic ends up taking a turn or two through the border, and so the bulk of domestic traffic will be tapped.

BOOBIES! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24122993)

Digg me down all you like, but you know you love 'em!

How much do you think the US paid for this? (4, Insightful)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

QuantumFlux (228693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123279)

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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (-1, Troll)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123779)

Plot's to spread comunnism would be the concern of the USA but not sweden, they already are comunnist.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124807)

I don't think that you are correct [sweden.gov.se] in calling Sweden communist.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (2, Insightful)

KeithJM (1024071) | more than 6 years ago | (#24125389)

Sweden isn't communist, and neither is Russia. Sweden is more socialist than the US, and Russia is certainly struggling with capitalism, but I think you're about 20 years behind the times.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126831)

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:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24123289)

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

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (4, Interesting)

eddy (18759) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123353)

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.

Better link on the DC-3 incident. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124217)

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 been shot down by a Soviet fighter aircraft east of Gotska Sandön."

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

abstract daddy (1307763) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126421)

Your link says that no crew members died.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123359)

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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (3, Insightful)

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

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126341)

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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (3, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

kramer2718 (598033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123913)

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] .

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124147)

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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124531)

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 are enjoying a sense of national pride and an improved personal financial picture, but I also think that the governments totalitarian instincts aren't exactly reassuring.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (4, Insightful)

yoprst (944706) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (1)

gayak (745124) | more than 6 years ago | (#24127165)

I want something you're smoking. Finland does snoop on Russia, all the time. Most likely more than any other country in the world (including US). Every country spies on their neighbours from military perspective, it's only natural. Internet communication isn't the only way to gather information, even if it's the way Sweden does it. And Finland will still share intelligence info between Sweden. This is just a smart move in a military sense to gather more information, it's valuable trade asset with other countries.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (2, Interesting)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126353)

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.

Re:How much do you think the US paid for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24126619)

Your kidding right? You think Russia is still actively trying to funnel top secret data through Sweden after they publicly passed law to snoop on it? Wow that's pretty smart

Help the Pirate Party (4, Interesting)

kramer2718 (598033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123205)

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]

Re:Help the Pirate Party (1)

Dice Fivefold (640696) | more than 6 years ago | (#24125633)

With it's opposition against this law, the pirate party has really proved itself to be a major opinion leader in Swedish politics. They have been leading the opposition of this law since the day the party formed. Together with the Swedish blogosphere they have made this the number one political issue this year. It is rare to see so many people so pissed off over a political issue in Sweden. The government never saw this coming and they're clearly having trouble handling the situation.

Before this summer the pirate party was mainly discarded as a bunch of clowns. I think now people will start listening to what they are saying. If they keep on being visible in the media, it is very likely they will get seats in European Parliament next year.

From the Torrentfreak blog: (2, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123227)

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

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (5, Insightful)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24126287)

You cannot have individual referendums on a European issue, either a common European referendum or individual parliamentary approval (or both), but having national referendums on an issue like that is just a joke on democracy.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (3, Insightful)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126357)

A joke on democracy? Are you kidding me? Individual parlimentary approval is *more* democratic than a national *referendum*?

The way the European governments are going about this is ANTI-democratic.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (1)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123895)

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 outside of parliament.

The 2/3 of a percent proved to the mainstream that they are serious - nowadays, their party leader frequently gets to comment on integrity issues in mainstream media, and they're just much more visible. Things haven't stayed the same since the 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.

Probably not in an election for the national parliament, no. However, almost nobody votes for the EU election (little more than a third of the population, usually), and those who do don't really care who their vote support.

Last time, the party Junilistan ("the June list") got 14.5% of the votes. The election was held in June, the party was established February the same year. So it's quite possible for the non-established parties to have amazing successes in the EU Parliament elections.

Oh, and the Pirate Party beat Junilistan in the last national election.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124827)

Probably not in an election for the national parliament, no.

It can be done though. See Ny Demokrati [wikipedia.org] for an example.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124603)

[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 voted through, by those who call themselves liberals, there are A LOT of people in Sweden who feel politically homeless. Considering that the surveillance craze was initiated by the social democrats before the last election, they aren't an option either.

Next year there is the EU election. The Pirate Party have a great chance to get actual seats in the European parliament. One reason is that there are usually much less voters in that election, and people don't vote there for things like "cheaper kindergartens" and "to save the local hospital". Combine this with the ongoing FRA uproar, that the Pirate party has a little money for campaign this time and that you only need 2% of the votes to get a seat and it's easy to see that a vote on the Pirates is anything but wasted.

If the Pirate Party get a seat in EU 2009 there will be a lot of attention, and this will help getting seats in the Swedish government in the 2010 election easier.

One more thing: The tone about the Pirate Party in media has been very different the last few months. We aren't seen as the just "the rebelling kids" or troublemakers (the negative meaning of it) anymore, but as a political phenomenon which is a bit of fresh air and is to be taken seriously.

If you want to help make this become reality, please consider donating some money [piratpartiet.se] ! Every donation is welcome!

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (1)

Humm (48472) | more than 6 years ago | (#24125201)

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.

Oh, I dunno. During the election 2005, a party (Junilistan) that hardly registered in the polls in the previous national election (I'm not even sure they existed at the time) got elected into the European Parliament. Remember: we don't have a winner-takes-all system.
Sweden generally has high voter participation in national elections (ca 80%), but participation is much lower in elections for the EP. This lowers the bar for getting elected significantly. It is certainly not impossible for the Pirate Party to get elected.

Having said that, the Pirates have some competition in the opposition against the FRA law. Yesterday, the environmental party (who have consistently opposed the law) and Sweden's biggest party, the social democrats (who will probably try to get some form of light version of the law passed later on), promised to overturn the law if they win the next national election.

Yes, politics is certainly very interesting in Sweden right now. I was cynically convinced that people would give up when the law passed. On the contrary. Even the old media is still on it, publishing something new almost every day.

Re:From the Torrentfreak blog: (1)

ozamosi (615254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24126323)

Having said that, the Pirates have some competition in the opposition against the FRA law. Yesterday, the environmental party (who have consistently opposed the law) and Sweden's biggest party, the social democrats (who will probably try to get some form of light version of the law passed later on), promised to overturn the law if they win the next national election.

Uhm.... What!?

They said that they wouldn't overthrow the law! The green party have said all along that they would, but yesterday they changed their mind. They said that they will start an investigation that is supposed to figure out whether the FRA law is a good idea.

The lefties, on the other hand, are going to try to prevent the law from becoming true this autumn.

Is this a real story, or crap like the Pelosi one? (-1, Troll)

dtolman (688781) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123269)

Does anyone know? Or do I have to waste my time again and read the article to find out if Timothy has posted utter crap onto the frontpage?

The Red Danger is back (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123433)

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.

Re:The Red Danger is back (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123663)

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.

Re:The Red Danger is back (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124411)

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:The Red Danger is back (2, Insightful)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124797)

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 the so called "free and democratic western world" who use those spectres to completely undermine the foundations of our society and let themselves be used by idiots dreaming about fantasy worlds they can only save by having ever increasing surveillance powers.

They probably honestly think they are doing this for the best of all, but somehow they lose sight of the fact that they are completely destroying whatever it is that they are supposed to be protecting in the process. But when things happen gradually, it's often very hard to notice stuff like that, especially when you're in the middle of it.

So who's responsible? (3, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123611)

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:So who's responsible? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124171)

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?

Re:So who's responsible? (1)

EchaniDrgn (1039374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124267)

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:So who's responsible? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124587)

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:So who's responsible? (3, Informative)

manwal (648106) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124589)

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:So who's responsible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24125011)

Meh. They have vowed to "rephrase" it. As if that would mean anything in practice. Besides, come next election, the system is already not only installed, but powered on and up and running. That is way too late, period.

The parties that actually cares and don't just fish for votes will call a vote to cancel the law as soon as the vacations are over - that's actually "vowing to undo". It's a world of difference. Especially since the law came from those guys in the first place...

Re:So who's responsible? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24125675)

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 ....

INteresting (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24123639)

Google moves their servers out of Sweden, but keeps them in China.

Re:INteresting (1)

cstdenis (1118589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24124697)

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

Re:INteresting (1)

jbrendel (1322141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24127151)

Yeah, so? There is much more business to be had in a large country like China. We wouldn't want to screw up our revenue streams there, right? Sweden is such a small market, Google is unlikely to face sanctions from the Swedish government for it (blocking, filtering), and Swedish consumers can click on ads even if they were served from servers located in other countries. It's easy to "take a stand for freedom" if you literally have no money riding on it at all... Do no evil (as long as it's convenient).

Translated From Bushese: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24123641)

"Sweden's Snoop Law Targets U.S.A." because the U.S.A is the real threat to European peace NOT Russia.

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout

Some nuggets from the Swedish articles (5, Informative)

MaulerOfEmotards (1284566) | more than 6 years ago | (#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"

Re:Some nuggets from the Swedish articles (5, Interesting)

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

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24124405)

non-fucking-existant. Satan's Di%ck A8d is ingesting *BSD has steadily

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24125495)

In Soviet Russia...(User is now offline)

So how long will it be (1)

skulgnome (1114401) | more than 6 years ago | (#24125905)

... until Russia starts routing packets through Sweden using encrypted IP tunneling? Just cooperate with some network operator(s) in Denmark, Germany or the Netherlands and boom, all's cool. Of course communication to parties within Sweden would have to be excluded from the automatic VPN, but everyone already knows that Sweden is Big Brother country so buyer beware.

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Finland, Estonia and Norway did this too. Sweden seems well on its way to becoming another of those countries where no one except parties that're cushy with the CIA will invest.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>