Sweden blocks talks with US on alleged spying
Sweden and Britain have blocked discussions between the European Union and the United States on the alleged American electronic spying on EU institutions and countries.
This comes just after the European Parliament expressed concern that the two countries are among those with data surveillance programs, similar to the National Security Agency's PRISM, that may violate EU law.
The talks, provoked by Edward Snowden’s leaks that the National Security Agency allegedly bugged EU networks in Brussels, Washington, and other locations, were to have begun on Monday.
But, the Guardian newspaper reports, because of objections from Sweden and Britain, alone among EU members, the discussions will be limited to just some issues of data privacy and will not address the alleged NSA bugging.
The Guardian says Sweden and Britain referred to issues of national security. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has declined to comment on the matter to Swedish Radio News.
Last week the European Parliament voted to conduct an “in-depth inquiry” into the American surveillance programs. The EU parliament also expressed grave concern about allegations of similar programs run by Britain, Sweden, and other EU members such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland.
It called upon those countries to examine whether those programs are compatible with EU law.
The so-called FRA Law allows the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment to monitor all data traffic that crosses Sweden’s borders. Critics argue that this includes most domestic communications here as well, since this often travels via servers outside the country.