Opposition to Increased Bugging

There are increasing voices within Sweden’s center-right coalition opposing a plan to increase electronic surveillance.

The government has proposed allowing the National Defence Radio Establishment, which spies on radio signals from other countries, to monitor telephone and e-mail traffic going in and out of Sweden, which also includes many domestic communications. The intention is to fight terrorism and organized crime.

But Swedish Radio News reports that the youth sections of three of the four coalition parties are trying to convince their own MPs to vote against the legislation when it comes up for a vote next week. The critics say the plan would undermine democracy.

While the legislation would be defeated if just four government MPs voted against, Swedish Radio News says party discipline is so ingrained they are unlikely to do so, even if many personally oppose the plan.

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