Swedish 'spy' law passed

19/06/2008

A controversial new law that allows Swedish authorities to 'spy' on cross border communications traffic has been approved by the parliament in Stockholm.

The move has sparked criticism that civil liberties will be at threat from eavesdropping, the BBC reports.

Authorities will now be able to monitor email, faxes and international telephone calls, although domestic communications will be filtered out.

This means that the country's intelligence bureau will not need to first obtain a court order for surveillance.

Google's global piracy counsel Peter Fleischer criticised the move, saying: 'The Swedish government is following the examples set by governments ranging from China and Saudi Arabia to the US government's widely criticised eavesdropping programme,' the Wall Street Journal reports.

In the UK there have been reports of plans to create a database that will contain details of every phone call made, email sent and time spent on the internet.

Personal data would be collected and then kept for one year where it could be accessed by law enforcement officials, the Times disclosed.