Reinfeldt: critics ‘don’t understand’ snoop law

Reinfeldt: critics 'don't understand' snoop law
Despite the six million protest emails sent to Sweden’s parliament, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt doesn’t think the controversial surveillance law needs to be changed and that the law’s critics simply don’t understand the new measure.

Reinfeldt claims that the storm of negative opinion is based on an incorrect reading of the surveillance law.

“It’s based on something which isn’t actually in the legislation and on the basis of that people talk about a big brother society in which anyone should feel ill at ease,” he told the TT news agency.

Reinfeldt believes that many have wrongly understood the law as intending to be used in domestic crime fighting.

“Apparently there is little knowledge about what defence intelligence work actually is,” he said.

“It’s about foreign-related phenomena of a more diffuse type and isn’t tied to individuals.”

According to Reinfeldt that atmosphere surrounding the new law has become so heated that it hasn’t been possible for the government to explain what the law entails.

The prime minister also thinks that the government has already carried out the changes necessary to address the concerns of critics regarding the measure’s potential threat to individuals’ privacy.

The Expressen newspaper’s online edition has generated 6.6 million protest emails to the Riksdag about the surveillance law.

“One should interpret the protest emails together with public opinion surveys and the opposition groups which have been created on the internet. Taken together it’s an issue which touches a nerve more than members of parliament understood,” said Thomas Mattsson, editor-in-chief for Expressen’s digital media.

On Tuesday the Swedish security police, Säpo, announced that they will investigate whether or not an employee of Sweden’s National Defence Radio Establishment (Försvarets radioanstalt – FRA) broke the law by leaking classified information to the media.

According to Sveriges Television, Säpo will also look into whether or not FRA broke the law by collecting Swedes’ data communications and storing the information for ten years.