On 18 June the Swedish Parliament passed a law giving sweeping new powers to the FRA (Swedish Defense Radio Establishment) allowing them to wiretap people in Sweden through phone conversations, email, text messages and more.
All people in Sweden using electronic communication can have their communication monitored despite the fact that they are not suspected of committing any crime.
In my view this is in direct contravention of article 12 of the UN declaration on human rights to which Sweden is a signatory.
Article 12.This shameful law applies to me - if you send me email (I get a lot of emails from readers of this blog and of my books) then you should be aware of the fact that your mails are not private but will be read by FRA employees - so your rights will be violated.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
The Swedish government is sensitive to foreign opinion so if you wish to protest about the fact that your privacy would be violated if you mail me then I suggest you send mail to one of the leaders of the four political parties (Maud Olofsson, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Jan Björklund, Goran Hagglund) that voted this law through. They can be contacted through The Prime Minister and Ministers.
I urge you to make your opinions known.
My daughter asked me:
Does this mean they will read my MSN chats?
I said "yes".
She said "that sucks"
I get pretty pissed off when they confiscate my water bottle when I have to travel by air, but I guess I can live with this but reading my email, and the email of my wife and kids is totally unacceptable. I would never read my wife's or kids' email - such behavior is totally unacceptable in a civilized society.
All this is done in the name of saving us from terrorism - after 9/11 western politicians promised that they would not allow acts of terrorism to change our way of life. Well, spying on 9 million people who have not broken the law is a funny way of "not changing our way of life."
This really pisses me off.
[In other areas Sweden is a pretty decent place to live, with decent human values, but this new legislation is totally unacceptable]
[Note also - all mail to the erlang mailing list will be monitored by FRA - if this upsets you then please mail the people responsible (see above). If this worries enough people we can move the list to a country that respects human rights]