Police to get right to use spyware in serious crime investigations

2:28 min

Police will soon be given the right to use spyware to decipher encrypted messages used in suspected crimes - but critics warn it infringes of people's right to privacy.

Encrypted messaging services are now a common tool for criminals. Swedish Radio News has gone through some 30 court rulings from November last year to January this year, where apps such as Wickr, Whatsapp and Telegram have been used. Convicted criminals have planned anything from drug crimes and swindling to kidnapping within the apps, and in most cases, the police have not been able to access the chats themselves.

The new bill, that will allow the police to use trojans or virus programmes to tap into the chats, is expected to be voted through parliament on Thursday. Home Affairs Minister Mikael Damberg says he is convinced it will lead to more convictions.

But Linda Snecker of the Left Party says the police's lack of IT-skills is a bigger problem, and the secretary general of the Swedish Bar Association, Mia Edwall Insulander, says it infringes on people's right to privacy.

Take a listen to the report to find out more.