• 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.

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
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

991
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
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
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