Sweden adopts contentious eavesdropping plan

Sweden's Parliament narrowly approved a contentious law Wednesday that gives authorities sweeping powers to eavesdrop on all e-mail and telephone traffic that crosses the Nordic nation's borders.

The right-leaning government's slim majority helped secure 143-138 approval, despite strong opposition from left-leaning parties led by Social Democrats, the dpa reported.

Supporters argued the law - which takes effect in January - will provide a level of security against potential terrorists plotting attacks.

But critics have slammed it as an invasion of privacy and an infringement on civil liberties. Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Parliament Wednesday, some handing out copies of George Orwell's famed "1984," dealing with a fictional police state.

The new powers will give Swedish defense officials the right to scan international phone calls, e-mails and faxes for sensitive keywords without a court order.

The companies Swedish telecom TeliaSonera AB and Google Inc. and have called the measure the most far-reaching eavesdropping plan in Europe, comparable to a U.S. government program.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush granted intelligence officers the power to monitor without court approval, international calls and e-mails between people in the United States and suspected terrorists overseas. The Protect America Act, passed last July, extended that authority, but it expired Feb. 15 and a replacement law is being debated.

Many European countries have gradually increased surveillance powers, including wiretapping and police searches, in a move to combat terror plots.

Currently, e-mail and phone surveillance in Sweden requires a court order if police suspect a crime, although the intelligence agency is allowed to spy on airborne signals, such as radio and satellite traffic.

The government rejects claims the law will give it unlimited powers to spy on its own citizens and maintains it will filter out domestic communications and is interested only in international traffic.

Four ruling coalition lawmakers forced additions to the bill, hoping the measures would protect individual privacy. But critics said the changes, which included monitoring by independent institutions, don't alter the fundamental problems with the law.

"This is just as absurd as before," said Per Strom of The New Welfare Foundation think tank. "It will still create a society characterized by self-censorship and anxiety."

The European Federation of Journalists argued that electronic monitoring of phone and e-mail communications contravenes international and European legal standards.

Another batch of munition left by Armenian soldiers found in Azerbaijan's Khojavand
Another batch of munition left by Armenian soldiers found in Azerbaijan's Khojavand
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijani population’s demand for "Anti-Coronavirus" insurance product growing - Ateshgah Hayat
India approves Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine
Turkey registers more than 54 560 new coronavirus cases
Yuri Gagarin image lights up Dubai’s Burj Khalifa
Korean battery makers rally after battery dispute settlement
Inventory of basic goods in Iran's ports increase
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for provision of directional drilling services
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan records industrial production value growth in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan's housing agency talks further plans on building residential complexes
Georgia not to cut economic growth forecast - Minister of Economy
Russia restricts air service with Turkey from April 15 to June 1
Iran, Afghanistan discuss bilateral ties, latest developments
Georgia faces third coronavirus wave - NCDC
Turkey welcomes Ramadan with tight measures against COVID-19
Operator of Kazakh Kashagan to hold open round-table on Marine Access Channels Project
Nvidia to directly challenge Intel with Arm-based 'Grace' server chip
New oil drilling platform activated in Turkmen sector of Caspian Sea
War Trophy Park to open for visitors in Azerbaijan’s Baku soon
Azerbaijani, Maldives FMs hold exchange views issues mutual interest
Uzbekistan discloses progress on construction of new plant of Navoiazot company
Azerbaijani FM receives delegation of Italian Senate (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan’s Baku Metro introduces solution for automatic supply of voltage to trains (PHOTO)
Several audit companies in Azerbaijan included in network of int’l organizations
Current interest rate in Azerbaijan to improve position of local capital market - Unicapital
International IT Holding of Belarus implementing big transport project in Azerbaijan
Russia's Red Wings may launch flights from Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk to Uzbekistan
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 13
Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds in Iran
Uzbekistan increases export volume of clothing to Kazakhstan
Iran's Natanz nuclear facility continues to operate – AEOI
UAE reports 1,928 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths
Russia allows import of tomatoes to several Azerbaijani enterprises
Israel's fiscal deficit narrows as economy begins recovery
IMF makes prediction regarding Georgian external debt
UK, EU talks on Northern Ireland are constructive, differences remain
Georgian E-Space actively cooperating with car dealers to bring new electric vehicles
Russia, Uzbekistan approve text of space co-op agreement
Uzbekistan joins CIS industrial agreement
Uzbekistan, Kuwait launching direct flights
Georgia's external debt up due to COVID-19 shock - IMF
Azerbaijan's CBA signs contract to acquire licenses for cybersecurity
Uzbekistan’s centers of public services improve work on basis of Azerbaijan's ASAN
Iran's LPG exports decreases
USDA unveils forecast for Azerbaijan's barley production
Russian Technonikol looks to build thermal insulation plants in Kazakh Almaty region
Indian-American, 5, Reads 36 Books Nonstop In 105 Minutes, Sets Record
Weekly review of Georgian's capital markets
Georgian Inert Materials Complex company investing in extraction of gravel materials
Nar’s renovates its service centers in Baku and regions (PHOTO)
India becomes largest buyer of US crude in first quarter of 2021
Turkmenistan's Mary region opens tender for construction of schools
Iran implements its plan on domestic production in full - deputy minister
Azerbaijan publishes latest data on COVID-vaccinated citizens
Investments in Kazakhstan's agriculture surge
Several international companies express interest in Georgian FDI Grant
Minister discloses amount of export of Azerbaijan’s non-oil products
Iran tightens restrictions for travelers on borders with Turkey, Iraq
Azerbaijan confirms 1,151 more COVID-19 cases, 1,052 recoveries
Georgia to place new Eurobonds
Iran looks to set up advanced centrifuges at Natanz nuclear plant
Kazakhstan increases exports to UK
Iran Oil Ministry to fund startups
Iran unveils generation capacity of thermal power plants
Azerbaijan temporarily bans import of poultry meat from several countries
Georgia shares data on revenues from tobacco excise duty
S.Korean PM, Iranian Supreme Leader's Advisor discuss frozen Iranian funds
Kazakhstan, Belarus trade surges
Potato, onion planting completed in Dashoguz region of Turkmenistan
Iran's TEDPIX sees decline
Swiss government urges voters to back COVID-19 law that foes want to ditch
Kazakhstan exceeds plan on petroleum products output
High-voltage substation with digital control system to be built in Uzbek Jizzakh region
Azerbaijani president signs order to set up new enterprises in Balakhani Industrial Park
Revenues of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan from communication services increase
Turkish Aksa Enerji building thermal power plants in Uzbek Tashkent region
Maersk Explorer completes drilling activities for Shah Deniz
Unicorns of 2021: Gupshup, ShareChat latest entrant to $1B club; total number rises to 10
In a first, surgery restores 'right' music to man's ear
Cargo transportation in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan increases
Georgia reveals volume of pension fund's assets
Volume of SOCAR Ukraine’s aviation fuel supplies revealed
Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport gains 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating
U.S., European consumers warm up to electric vehicles, but remain wary of price
Kazakhstan’s KAZAKHALTYN delists its shares from Stock Exchange
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan sees increase in investments in fixed assets
Several contracts signed in Iran’s oil sector
Azerbaijan announces restoration of Araz newspaper's office building in liberated Fuzuli (PHOTO)
Domino's, Nuro to start robot pizza delivery in Houston
Turkmenabat cotton spinning factory of Turkmenistan exports most of its products
GDP of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan shows increase
Turkmenistan’s Foreign Economic Affairs bank talks volume of net profit for 2020
Average monthly nominal salary in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan continues to grow
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for rolling stock repair
Turkish Ziraat Bank shares forecast for Azerbaijan's GDP in 2021-22
Kazakhstan's gas consumption exceeds plan in 1Q2021
Kazakhstan’s Ulba Metallurgical Plant announces tender for equipment repairs
Iran has greater potential in technology than in oil sector - minister
Azerbaijan discloses daily volume of oil production for March 2021
Assets of Kazakhstan’s National Fund decrease
Iran's CBI allows some traders to import commodities, instead of revenues
All news