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Swedes favour more bugging

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10:35 CET+01:00
A large majority of Swedes like the idea of additional surveillance to aid in the hunt for terrorists and serious criminals.

A survey carried out by Statistics Sweden shows that a full 80 percent of Swedes favour increased surveillance.

But while the general public supports plans to keep a closer eye on the population, public bodies have been lining up to criticise defence minister Mikael Odenberg's proposal to permit the monitoring of ordinary citizens' phone calls and email.

Writing on behalf of the Register Board, former intelligence chief Anders Eriksson warned of the possible effects of the minister's proposal.

"If the bill is implemented Sweden will become a warning example of what can happen to the rule of law and the protection of personal integrity," wrote Eriksson.

The Swedish Security Service described the proposal as "alien to the form of government to which we are accustomed".

The defence minister's Moderate Party colleague Henrik von Sydow also called on Odenberg to rethink.

"We know from experience that all surveillance entails a risk of abuse and leaks," he wrote in Thursday's Dagens Nyheter.

But the survey of 1,000 Swedes carried out on behalf of the Committee for the Protection of Integrity, showed overwhelming support for extended surveillance, according to Sveriges Radio.

Almost 80 percent of those surveyed thought that citizens should be checked more thoroughly in order to tackle terrorism and serious crime.

An even higher number, 87 percent, were of the opinion that police should be able to secretly bug telephones and access computers.

Just over half of the people surveyed, 51 percent, were in favour of a DNA register of all citizens.

The idea of having more camera surveillance in public places was supported by 97 percent of respondents.

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