The Swedish parliament just passed a bill that allows the Swedish military to monitor any communications over the net of anyone without a court order. It also allows building up maps of interrelationships using traffic info without any court order. It kind of beats anything the US administration did even at its worst. Except it’s actually a law, so the government here doesn’t need to break the law to do it. How convenient.
It has been said that it was created under pressure from our uncle in the west, since so much former-east-block traffic passes through Sweden. I’m inclined to believe that, but I see no reason why our government can’t decide for themselves, so the responsibility for being pussies is all on the Swedish government.
I can see only one upside to the whole thing: anonymous proxies like Relakks, new methods of hiding traffic information, message encryption, etc, will get a real boost. This is a country of contrarians and inventors, so my hopes are high. Even some regular good citizens start asking me how to make life difficult for the buggers. That’s a very good sign.
I think, or rather hope, that this was a crucial mistake by the “who needs privacy” crowd, creating some real legimate reason to start fighting government initiatives like this. Sweden has no 9/11 to use as an excuse. Sweden has no “boys in Iraq” to support. There is very little unconditional patriotism or flag waving. There’s not even any terrorism here to defend against. IOW, there is very little emotional argument to quiet the crowd with, if the crowd gets upset.
OTOH, to get Swedes visibly upset about anything is pretty hard to do, so we’ll have to wait to see if this particular leather boot does the trick or not.
See http://www.thelocal.se/12514.html (english)
Update: another excellent article about it in The Intelligence Daily.