onsdag den 1. oktober 2008

Swedish Surveillance Law again, again - Towards a happy Ending

The Swedish act on surveillance, as described in my earlier blogs, will be changed on 15 major points according to Computerworld.
This is good news, in spite the fact that the EU commissioner Jacques Barrot responded to a question by the Danish Liberal member of the EU Parliament, Karin Riis-Joergensen, that national security surveillance only has to obey national jurisdiction. It seems that the internal Swedish pressure on the Parliament did the trick – including threats from a Swedish Human Rights Watch group to sue the Swedish Parliament.
The law is going to be amended on not less than 15 points, the most important of which is that any surveillance has to be accepted by a Swedish court decision, that it is also the Swedish Court that decides which channels/electronic cables could be tapped, that no traffic can be surveilled if there is a Swedish citizen in one end of the communication, and that data captured must not be kept for more than a year.
Even if it is encouraging and as it seems that the law has been brought into compliance with the Data Directive and Human Rights declaration, it is a pity that the answer by commissioner Jacques Barrot was not challenged, as it seems he hadn’t really understood the international consequences of accepting the original law.
But it seems that the Danish Parliament, a customer of Telia and as such one of the potential ‘customers’ for the Swedish defense, may sleep safely at night. Unless, of course, a state of war between DK and Sweden should happen.
Everybody does not seem to agree on this, and DI - The Association of Danish Industry - is still of the opinion that there will be no restrictions to check out communication between Denmark and other countries even under the new amendments. Therefore the DI organisation will give out information on encryption to prevent Swedish tapping into Danish communication.
According to Computerworld there are still issues. So in spite of what seems to be a happy ending, we may not have seen the last of this legislation.

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