• 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
Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

The Local List
Eight things to love about renting in Sweden
Apartments in Sweden are compact. Photo: Shutterstock

Eight things to love about renting in Sweden

A housing crisis means that short-term sublets are the norm in major cities and rent regulation rules are frequently flouted. But this week, The Local's decided to look on the bright side of renting an apartment in Sweden. READ  

Business & Money
Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain
Nordea's Chief Executive Christian Clausen. Photo: TT

Nordea banks big third-quarter profit gain

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Wednesday a sharp rise in third quarter profits despite the economic slowdown and major outlays for an IT overhaul. READ  

National
Knutby priest faces early release from prison
Knutby in eastern Sweden, the scene of the murder. Photo: TT

Knutby priest faces early release from prison

A former priest in eastern Sweden who was sentenced to life in prison for organizing the murder of his wife has had his sentence reduced. READ  

Opinion
'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

'Sweden will see Russia as a threat again'

The Local speaks to one of Europe's leading security experts about why social media meant the Swedish military couldn't keep their 'submarine' search a secret and how she believes the country will ramp up its security against Russia. READ  

Interview
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
Comedian Al Pitcher has launched his new tour. Photo: www.alpitcher.com

'Swedes are funnier than they think'

New Zealand-born Al Pitcher launched his new comedy show in Stockholm this week. There wasn't a dull moment as The Local phoned up the man who has become one of Sweden's hottest comedians, while he took an eventful stroll in the capital. READ  

National
Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes
The suicide bombing took place in 2010. Photo: TT

Stockholm suicide bomb investigation closes

Sweden's Security Service (Säpo) has announced that it will stop its core investigation into a suicide bombing in Stockholm four years ago. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search
The search for the missing 'submarine' is now in its sixth day. Photo: TT

Military heads into 'new phase' in sub search

A press conference on the search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters revealed that the Armed Forces would be heading into a "new phase" on Wednesday, although it remained unclear what that might involve. READ  

Lifestyle
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
The bronze replica cannon. Photo: Beth Dacey.

Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden

A replica of one of the cannons present on Stockholm's iconic Vasa warship when it sank in 1628 is being tested for the first time in central Sweden. READ  

Health
Swedish farmers contracted swine flu
Swine flu can spread between pigs and humans. Photo: TT

Swedish farmers contracted swine flu

A human strain of the swine flu virus normally only found in pigs was discovered in Sweden earlier this year, the country's Public Health Agency has revealed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
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
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
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
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
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

1,007
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