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Snoop agency head: 'They should stand up for us'

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Snoop agency head: 'They should stand up for us'
Photo: FRA
12:20 CEST+02:00
The director-general of the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA), Ingvar Åkesson, is disappointed at the level of government support his agency has received over the new surveillance law.

"It would have been good if our employer had stood up for us," Åkesson said.

Åkesson also rejected several of the arguments concerning the new surveillance law, passed by the Swedish parliament on June 18th.

The week following the passing of the bill has been full of misunderstandings, rumour-spreading and bitter tirades against the FRA, Åkesson told the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

"We are a punching-bag, dragged through the dirt, we are running the gauntlet. It would have been good had our employers, the government and the Ministry of Defence for example, stood up for us and explained just why they think that the FRA law is necessary," he said to the newspaper.

He recognized that the prime minister and defence minister had engaged in a couple of debates, but added that it has generally been "very quiet."

Åkesson at the same time rejected one defence of the law, forwarded by defence inister Sten Tolgfors, among others, that Swedish troops in Afghanistan would be protected. Åkesson pointed out however that it is unlikely that the Taliban would send an email via a cable under surveillance by the FRA.

"It is not a good argument for the law. Communications there are mostly conducted by air," said Ingvar Åkesson.

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