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Sweden signs up to UN plan to curb US spying

Sweden signs up to UN plan to curb US spying

Published: 26 Oct 2013 16:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Oct 2013 16:01 GMT+02:00

Sweden has joined forces with 20 other UN countries to draft a general resolution to rein in the spying programs carried out by America's National Security Agency (NSA).

The draft, which was co-created by Germany and Brazil, has already attracted the support of 19 other countries reports Foreign Policy magazine. It follows allegations that the NSA had wiretapped the phone of German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Among the other countries which are behind the general resolution are France and Mexico.

The draft document, which has been leaked, does not refer to recent US spying scandals but does state in its objectives for; "Reaffirming the human right of individuals to privacy and not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy, family, home or correspondence."

SEE ALSO: 'The future of freedom on the internet is at stake'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said at this week's EU summit in Brussels that it was "completely unacceptable" to wiretap the leader of a key ally.

However, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt said he wasn't particularly outraged that the NSA may have wiretapped as many as 35 leaders around the world.

"We live in a world where we have precautionary measures and we run them ourselves. I'm sufficiently aware to know that I should not say things over the phone which may harm Sweden," said Bildt to SVT news.

Bildt added that he was unaware if the NSA has conducted surveillance missions against Sweden.

Opposition party the Social Democrats have said the government should demand answers from the US on their spying programs.

"I think that Sweden should also become part of the European voice which is now available which ask questions of the U.S. about how this really works," said Morgan Johansson, chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on the administration of justice (justitieutskottet) to SVT.

SEE ALSO: 'Did Sweden just sign up to 'principled' internet surveillance?'

British investigative journalist Duncan Campbell recently claimed that Sweden collaborated with the USA on the internet monitoring FRA law. The law allows the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) to wiretap telephone and internet traffic which crosses Swedish borders and has been in place since 2009.

A spokesperson for the US state department said they would review the document when it was made available according to Foreign Policy magazine.

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