Russians plan to dodge Swedish spies

Russian telecom operators have drawn up plans to re-route data and call traffic to avoid Swedish eavesdropping, following the passing of Sweden's new law giving spying agency FRA increased powers to intercept communications.

Russians plan to dodge Swedish spies

Russian newspaper RBK writes that Russian telecom operators see the new law “as an attempt at industrial espionage at state level, and are prepared to bypass Sweden if necessary,” according to a translation in Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet.

The comments come after Swedish media reported that the new law, which had been portrayed by politicians as a tool in fighting international terrorism, was in fact primarily targeted at spying on Russian communications. Eighty percent of Russian telecoms traffic is routed through Sweden.

Svenska Dagbladet reports that the Swedish debate about the eavesdropping law has been widely reported in the Russian press, but says there has been little internal discussion about the fact that Russia has been named as the target of Swedish espionage.

But Russian newspaper Kommersant questioned the official Swedish argument for the new law, saying that “Sweden has not faced a terrorist threat for many years.”

Experts cited by Svenska Dagbladet said that routing traffic away from Sweden would be relatively straightforward for the Russian telecoms companies.