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Swedish Parliament Passes Controversial Surveillance Bill

Published torsdag 19 juni 2008 kl 09.52
The National Defence Radio Establishment

The Swedish Parliament passed the controversial bill to permit the National Defence Radio Establishment to monitor all SMS, e-mail, and other data traffic crossing Swedish borders Wednesday evening with 143 in favour and 138 opposed, and 1 abstention.

Only one of the centre-right coalition government MP’s voted against the plans, and another abstained. Liberal MP Camilla Lindberg said that in most issues she agreed with her party, but at some times you have to draw the line. Other potential government rebels were either not in parliament, or voted in favour of a new deal, made Wednesday, which set up even more checks and balances on the surveillance system.

But protesters claim that the deal is purely cosmetic, and nothing has really changed. Organisations such as Journalist unions, newspaper publishers associations, the Swedish bar council, Police authorities, the Swedish Security Service and above all, countless political blogs have all been negative to the new law. It will now come into effect next year.

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