Greens demand surveillance investigation
The Green Party demands a parliamentary investigation into Sweden's intelligence co-operation with other countries. It also wants a review of the work done by Sweden's intelligence gathering agency FRA and the body that is set to inspect what is does. This comes after the news earlier this week that Sweden is working closely with the US National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart GCHQ.
"This is basically a scandal. They say FRA is not monitoring Swedish citizens by here Sweden has probably an agreement with the US and the NSA, which can look at Swedish citizen's mail and everything. There must be a parliamentary investigation to get to the bottom of this," says Per Rådberg, Green Party MP and member of the parliamentary defence committee, tells Swedish Radio News.
But the liberal party member of the same committee, Allan Widman, sees no point in such an investigation.
"I honestly have difficulties in seeing the reason for such an investigation. We have come to a legislation in the last few years that is very clear and very transparant," he tells Swedish Radio.
"I feel safe. We have a legislation that only allows signal surveillance of foreign situations that threaten the national security. We have an independent inspectorate and an independent surveillance court. And every year there is a report from the government to parliament where the contents of the activities is explained," says Widman.
Sweden has access to communication cables under the Baltic Sea, where a lot of the computer traffic between Sweden and countries in the east pass through. FRA's main task is signals surveillance and intelligence gathering.
The FRA is controlled by the defence surveillance inspection agency SIUN. One of the members of SIUN, a so called committee agency, is the Social Democrat MP Tone Tingsgård. In an interview with Swedish Radio News, she says the inspectorate know which countries Sweden is co-operating with, but that no thorough investigation has been made. She indicated that the rules are unclear when it comes to these inspections.
"We know which countries are co-operated with," she says.
How detailed information have you got?
"it is not as if we go in and check the purpose of the co-operation. I don't think we have ever done that. I don't know if that is our job, either," she says.
What do you mean, that you don't know whether it is your job?
"I mean what I say. This will surely be a question we will raise in the committee next time," says Tone Tingsgård, Social Democrat member of the parliamentary committee, which makes up the State Inspectorate for Defence Surveillance SUIN.