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FRA law

Narrow Victory for Wire Tapping Law

Published onsdag 14 oktober 2009 kl 16.51
Defence Minister Tolgfors and anti-FRA demonstrators

On Wednesday the Swedish Parliament voted on extra measures in the controversial FRA wire tapping law. The law has been attacked for invading citizens' privacy and the proposed changes are designed to make it fairer and more acceptable to politicians and the public.

After nearly five hours of sometimes heated debate in Parliament the amendment very narrowly won with a vote of 158 for and 153 against, with one abstention.

The last time the law was tested the gap was bigger, with 148 in favour and 138 against and one abstention.

The new law allows the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment, or FRA, to track communications in Sweden, including reading email and tapping phones. It was passed in 2008 and came into force this January. Now the government's amendments will be voted on today.

Changes include a specific court of law to track the FRA's intelligence work and a new authority that will handle appeals from people who want to complain.

While the majority of the centre-right government MPs are for the law, the opposition Social Democrats say they will scrap it if they get elected next year.

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