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Sweden and the US pit their wits for homeland security

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 1 Oct 2009, 13:10

Published: 01 Oct 2009 13:10 GMT+02:00

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The Euro-Atlantic Stakeholders Conference (EASC09) brings together the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap (MSB)) and its US counterpart, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"This conferences brings together researchers, experts and government agencies and affords Sweden the opportunity to act to build bridges and push international joint action within societal protection and preparedness," Helena Lindberg, general-director of the MHS, told The Local on Thursday.

The two-day conference is hosted by Lindberg and Sweden's defence minister Sten Tolgfors and will feature a raft of high-profile speakers addressing subjects ranging from pandemics, financial crises, hurricane Katrina, forest fires, the 2005 south-east Asian tsunami catastrophe, as well as the developing effects of climate change.

"In a globalised network society the necessity for working together is very clear, We experience the same threats and risks and have much to gain from pooling knowledge," Lindberg said.

Representing the US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate at the conference is Bradley Buswell who argues that Sweden's long history of technological innovation is of great benefit to the US.

"We are here to benefit from the research and innovation that Sweden has achieved and it is also about Sweden benefiting from what we have done," Buswell told The Local.

"Swedish security is US security," he underlined in response to a question regarding the nature of the Sweden-US partnership.

The conference has a science and technology focus and aims to "effectively communicate research needs, capabilities, innovative technology and conceptual frames."

"Our societies are dependent on technology. The flows of people, energy, knowledge and capital render it of utmost importance for our mutual security," Helena Lindberg told The Local.

Story continues below…

"The technology platform is a way for our governments to build and develop trust," Bradley Buswell added.

The MSB was launched on January 1st 2009 and similar to its US counterpart the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) integrated the work of several agencies working with various emergency and defence organs.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:48 October 1, 2009 by rybo1
What is the tentacle of "Father Land" security doing here. They've made their mark by running rough-shod over the US Constitution and rights to privacy for the average American. Are we too, going to share in this facism?
15:54 October 1, 2009 by Rick Methven
Homeland Security will most propbably demand (and get) All of our details. Name, address, religion, bank account details, even inside leg mesurement.
17:49 October 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
It is only the technology sections of these departments that are meeting, so dont worry about the doomsday scenarios. The best security measure would be to require Visas and background checks for anyone entering the US with a Swedish passport. With Sweden's history of giving anyone citizenship, and financing their terrorist training abroad with taxpayer money, this would be a good first step. That goes for multiple other European countries with similar policies as well. These policies put Everyone in the West at risk. We can not do anything about the Europeans or Canadians at risk, but the rule of thumb that anyone with a US, Canadian, or European passport is not a threat has to be scrapped. The 9/11 hijackers were from Germany, and the London and Madrid bombers were from Europe. It is not only Europe, a Canadian immigrant was foiled trying to smuggle a bomb through Canada to LA. These old assumptions are risky.
19:30 October 1, 2009 by rybo1
MKVGTired: Sounds to me that you might really enjoy Fox News. Privacy to me is sacred, especially concerning a right wing government, that can paint and colour your personal information to suit their needs.
20:13 October 1, 2009 by Ozpot
And what new threats are they talking about? Us?

Have an opinion that differs from theirs and you will end up on their terror suspect list.

Plenty of news items now list Americans as the new threat, they label it "Home grown terrorists".

check out : w w w.y o u t u b e.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw

Obamarama !!!
21:37 October 1, 2009 by mkvgtired
rybo1, I too value my privacy. I dont agree with the patriot act and firmly it will be repealed or allowed to expire. That being said the the article clearly states the technology branches are meeting.
21:58 October 1, 2009 by frey
aufgabe and einstellung...sweden is an old kingdom and she knows the sky is not falling.
00:53 October 2, 2009 by DreEstwd
The way I see it, if you're not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about. I understand people's concerns though.
13:05 October 2, 2009 by KamiZ
wait...the 9/11 hijackers were from germany?what kinda baloney is that?
17:40 October 2, 2009 by Nemesis
MKVGTired: The 9 \ 11 hijackers were from Morocco and the US ally Saudi Arabia, not Germany. I suggest you stop watching Fox News.

Rick Methven: The USA was given access to all your tax, medical and financial records years ago.

All your details such as employment history, religeon, sexual orientation, criminal record, psychiatric history, etc. are also collected for the US authorities.

I can understand them wanting criminal record, but the rest of it makes no sense to me.

Don't ask me why, I just know they do. Every country in Shengan travel area, NATO and EC does this.

I couldn't believe it when I found out it included medical records. Most of the information is nothing to do with security.

The only reasons I can think of for requiring such information is religeous fundamentalist reasons or economic espionage.
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