• Sweden's news in English

Säpo wants more power to spy on the internet

TT/The Local/dl · 20 Oct 2011, 08:46

Published: 20 Oct 2011 08:46 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Both Säpo and the National Bureau of Investigation (Rikskriminalpolisen) want to be better able to use the internet to reveal terror plans and other serious crimes.

Options under discussion are the ability to infiltrate discussion groups and carry out surveillance using false identities, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

“After Anders Behring Breivik's och Taimour Abdulwahab's terror attacks, we have to ask the question if the virtual world can trigger people to commit heinous crimes. If it can, we have to be there. We have to patrol the net,” Säpo head Anders Danielsson told the newspaper.

Both attacks have prompted Swedish police and Säpo to review their surveillance methods so they can more easily identify individuals who lack an economic motive and have no criminal history, yet are nevertheless prepared to commit violent acts.

An inquiry into possible changes is expected to be completed by the end of the year and may result in Säpo asking the government to update Swedish legislation.

The challenge, according to Danielsson, is coming up with an effective way to patrol the internet.

“We have the virtual world where we must be self-critical and pose the question: How can we, in a democratic way, keep tabs on what's happening there?” he said.

“Should the police be on Facebook so that people can turn there in the same way they can approach a police officer on the street? Someone may want to say something about talk of strange or unpleasant things in a Facebook group. How can we create that possibility? Should we infiltrate the internet? Then we're into legal questions? Can we do that?”

Danielsson added that the issues involved with how Swedish law enforcement patrols the internet are not only legal, but also ethical and moral.

In addition, privacy concerns must also be taken into account.

Story continues below…

“A quesiton which always comes up, if we take Breivik as an example, is how long the state should go in finding a person who has very evil intentions? Should we check everyone who buys fertilizer? There are plenty of legitmate reasons for buying it,” he told DN.

“In a democratic society, can we not offer some guarantees that we can prevent this type of perpetrator?”

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:19 October 20, 2011 by Opinionfool
Um, so Säpo wants to spy on the Internet but why bother? Most of its users haven't a clue about personal data security --- come on they use Microsoft Windows (an operating "system" that has more security notices issued by US CERT than the rest of them put together) --- or WiFi network protection, or of traffic analysis.

Or maybe Säpo have been listening to the English MPs who said the recent riots there were all organised using Facebook, which fact retrospective studies have shown NOT to be the case. And those "convicted" of inciting riot by Facebook didn't get one started.
10:39 October 20, 2011 by Kahmoudi
What does it matter if it led to them capturing potential terrorists or other criminals? All the Swedish legal system will do is slap them on the wrist.
11:28 October 20, 2011 by apelsin000
Why bother? facebook is a perfect tool for spying, just pay them...
07:49 June 10, 2013 by robban70226
There is no question that criminal monitoring is good. The issue is where is the balance?
Today's headlines
Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available