• Sweden edition
 
Sweden extends police eavesdropping powers

Sweden extends police eavesdropping powers

Published: 11 May 2012 15:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2012 15:40 GMT+02:00

According to the new law, which comes into effect on July 1st, a person must now only be suspected of a finable offence for police to have the power to force ISPs to hand over the names, telephone numbers, and IP-addresses of individual subscribers.

The move is meant to make it easier for police to track down individuals suspected of file sharing as well as other copyright infringement crimes online.

The new law replaces regulations stipulating that someone must be suspected of a crime resulting in a prison sentence in order to retrieve user information from internet providers.

"It's a really good change which makes it possible for police to investigate copyright crimes that affect specific individuals," Paul Pintér, the Swedish police's national coordinator for intellectual property crimes, told the TT news agency.

According to Pintér, the new law will make it easier to protect individual copyright holders from having their works pirated or downloaded illegally.

In practice, most investigations into copyright infringements against individuals as well as reports of internet libel are dropped under current regulations.

However, Pintér doesn't expect the new law will lead to a marked increase in the number of reported copyright infringement complaints.

"The complaints we receive today are almost exclusively from copyright holders and there is usually some some substance in their complaints," he said.

The new law also expands police powers to conduct secret wiretapping of electronic communications.

According to the new regulations, a decision to conduct secret wiretaps must be made by a court, but the new also includes a loophole for prosecutors themselves to make interim decisions in cases which are especially pressing.

In addition, police and customs officials will be allowed to make decisions about conducting surveillance for intelligence gathering.

It will also be possible for police and other law enforcement agencies to carry out surveillance even if there are no concrete suspicions against the person in question.

Such general surveillance can only be carried out, however, if the suspected crime carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison and with a court-issued warrant.

Police will also be able be able to require telecom operators to tell them where an individual's telephone may be even if it's not in use.

The measure had the support of the four parties of Sweden's governing centre-right Alliance coalition, as well as the far-right Sweden Democrats.

The Left and Green Parties, however, were opposed.

"It's unacceptable to make changes that make it easier to access our personal information," Left Party MP Jens Holm said in a statement.

"All of our online communication should be as secure as when we write regular letters or talk on the telephone."

According to Holm, the new law "really undermines that security".

"To open the floodgates completely and start to hunt a whole generation of file sharers is not okay," he added.

But Moderate Party MP Ewa Thalén Finné emphasized that the changes made it easier to solve serious crimes.

"It can be threats, stalking, libel or adults who have sexual motives when looking for young people," she told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Anna Troberg of the Pirate Party, which advocates for a reform of copyright laws, nevertheless expressed concerns what would happen with the information gathered by investigators.

"It's ignorant of the Riksdag to think that these increased powers won't be abused," she said in a statement.

"Private information leaks out of police registries every day. The easier it is to access private information the more information will be leaked out and the more people will be harmed."

The new law was passed in the wake of Sweden's adoption of a controversial EU data retention directive.

According to the legislation, internet service providers will be required to data about clients' telephone, messaging, and internet use for six months.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:34 May 11, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag
"It can be threats, stalking, libel or adults who have sexual motives when looking for young people," she told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Yeah, sure, Sweden cares about child molesters. Here in Blekinge county, a man was convicted of seven rapes of children 13 and under, with the youngest 9-years-old. He was first sentenced to six years in jail, which was later reduced to 4-1/2 (!) years.

Don't tell me that Swedes give a damn about their women or children. File sharing, sure, but not children. Shame on you Sweden.
17:20 May 11, 2012 by jjoensuu
But at least the deviants (such as child rapers...I am not sure why it is termed "molesting" anyway) are a useful tool for the friendly government to come with proposals that give itself more power over information coming from others. And at the same time put some "add-ons" to the proposal while passing the law. Such as that of allowing law enforcement to carry out surveillance on looser grounds.
20:36 May 11, 2012 by billyb362
'Totalitarianism' has come to Sweden via the EU

It might be time to go home now
23:45 May 11, 2012 by asteriks
Swedish gov = Saddam Hussein. Politicians got money from entertainment industry and now they make the law for those who paid them and they will use police to satisfy mentioned industry. Well then this industry should finance and police so at least citizens should not finance cops if they serve corporations instead to serve people.
04:04 May 12, 2012 by ultra_materialist
They don't care about pedophilia and child related crime.

They are doing this to defend the Political Correctness in their country.

They want to protect the people that are responsible for 48% of all rapes in this country.

They want to protect the people that are transforming this place in a hell.

They want to protect those 20 guys from the Middle-East that raped a 11 year old girl and will be in jail for 4 years.

If they really cared about this country they would not bring all this islamic trash from abroad.

You know, when you live in a country where a politician when asked about the immigrant giant amount of crime(rape,robbery and murder) says that immigrants are responsible for most of the rapes because of weather...(yes, if you are a somali, summer will make you rape the native population) and the people do NOTHING.

Sweden is the home of the most coward people in the world....

With these new 40.000 somalis that are coming until the end of 2012, Sweden for sure will win the ultimate prize:

From European capital of Rape .......to

Sweden capital of rape in the world.

Bunch of cowards...
14:51 May 12, 2012 by skylarkpilot
Sweden has some seriously skewed policies. Chasing kids for file sharing, like shooting fish in a barrel !

Here in Falun we've had several case of attempted child abduction from outside junior schools, the Polis response ? more random breath tests on parents delivering their kids to school. Successes achieved ? none. The only reason we're not finding child corpses is blind luck.
18:53 May 12, 2012 by Abe L
All because the US threatend to put Sweden on a list with other dodgy countries. Utter and complete bullshit. Filesharing is NOT a crime - it's not stealing, it's not counter fitting and it's not harming anyone. It's an absolute disgrace that a law was accepted that made it illegal and it's even worse that laws that further invade the privacy of citizens is accepted.

When is Sweden as a society going to chase down REAL CRIMINALS instead of bullying hard working tax paying citizens with filesharing bs and speeding and parking tickets?
Today's headlines
Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself

A man and a woman, reported to be both 45-years-old, were found dead on Thursday in an apartment on Lidingö in Stockholm with police suspecting a murder and suicide. READ  

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire
Central Norrköping in eastern Sweden. Photo: Stefan Vilcans

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire

Swedish police suspect arson after buildings at a mosque in Norrköping in eastern Sweden burned down in the early hours of Friday morning. READ  

Opinion
'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

Caught in an identity limbo and surrounded by often apathetic "love refugees", The Local's resident Swedophile Solveig Rundquist wonders if she's the only expat who moved to Sweden for the culture alone. READ  

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets

Sweden's Prison and Probation Services are beginning a project in which suspected criminals will be given surf tablets to look at evidence against them. READ  

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

717
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se