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The FRA law, a controversial anti-terrorist legislative package in Sweden, has been heavily criticized both in Sweden and elsewhere.

Political parties[edit | edit source]

Although the Swedish Social Democratic Party voted against the proposition,[citation needed] their opposition was merely on technical grounds[citation needed] as they put forth the original proposition in 2007.[citation needed] All four parties in the ruling government coalition Alliance for Sweden (the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal People's Party and the Christian Democrats) voted in favor of the proposition. Only two parties in the Riksdag, the Left Party and the Green Party, outright rejected the proposition.[citation needed]

However, the youth organizations of all seven riksdag parties, including those of the ruling coalition parties, have spoken out against the proposal. Their responses are below. There have been more or less organized resistance internally in all of the four parties voting for the law, both informal and organized through organizations as CenterUppropet and Borgerligt Nej.

Youth organizations[edit | edit source]

Centre Party Youth[edit | edit source]

On June 13, 2008, the Centre Party Youth (CUF) published a news item on their website stating that "CUF wants more integrity, not less", and that they are sorry the law passed.[1] Their chairman, Magnus Andersson, is quoted as saying "We still wish the law had not passed, nothing else is okay from our perspective."[1]

Liberal Youth[edit | edit source]

The Liberal Youth of Sweden (LUF) posted several news releases about the FRA law, the earliest dating June 10, 2008 and titled "FRA is the threat".[2] In it, chairperson Frida Johansson Metso states that LUF demands that all Liberal People's Party MPs vote against the proposition, citing a party program stating that states that "liberals have, throughout history, always struggled against those who have wanted to restrict the sanctity of the individual", asking the rhetorical question, "do the current MPs want to rewrite history?".[2] Johansson Metso declares that she is "sick of Orwellian newspeak" and goes on to say that by "safety for the individual" the government means "security for the state" and makes other similar comparisons.[2] The press release also reveals the opening of a new campaign website, "your border", highlighting the privacy and personal freedom issues raised by the FRA law.[2]

The next news release, from June 18, 2008, primarily focuses on criticizing the Centre Party MPs Fredrick Federley and Annie Johansson, stating that while their action might be perceived to be supportive of the opposition to the FRA law, in reality they only splintered the opposition and effectively made sure the proposition would pass.[3] Another news release from the same day repeats that Federley and Johansson gave away the FRA law, and calls for Liberal People's Party MPs to vote against the proposition.[3] As of June 24, 2008, the latest press release related to the FRA law was posted on June 19, 2008 - one day after the law has passed - praising the Liberal People's Party MP Camilla Lindberg, the only MP from the Alliance for Sweden to vote against the proposal, and announcing Lindberg's receiving of the Bertil Ohlin medal, the highest distinction awarded by the LUF.[4] In the press release, Lindberg is compared to Zlatan Ibrahimović, a Swedish footballer.[4] Birgitta Ohlsson, a Liberal People's Party MP who abstained from voting (but not voting against) is thanked, along with the three opposition parties: the Social Democrats, the Left Party, and the Green Party.[4]

Moderate Youth League[edit | edit source]

On June 12, 2008, the Moderate Youth League demanded that Moderate Party MPs voted in with the support of the youth league - Anna König Jerlmyr, Tomas Tobé, Oskar Öholm, Fredrik Schulte, Patrik Forslund, Anna Bergkvist, Lars Hjälmered and Karl Sigfrid - vote against the proposition, calling it the "greatest violation of personal right to privacy in the history of Sweden".[5] Chairman Niklas Wykman was quoted as saying "claiming that one has to follow the party line is just an excuse to avoid personal responsibility", and that the proposition would create system where everyone would be under constant surveillance.[5] Wykman further claimed that historically, all systems break and fault eventually, and asked if the MPs were willing to face the consequences when this system did.[5]

On June 17, 2008, after the law was rereferred, the Moderate Youth League claimed that they were convinced that the "mass surveillance proposition" would fall.[6] Wykman was quoted as saying he believed it would be seen as the bluff it was, and that as long as the FRA would be able to read e-mail without any form of suspicion of crime, the proposition should not be approved in any form.[6] It is then stated that MUF has worked against the law ever since it was first brought forth in its original form by Thomas Bodström of the previous Social Democrat administration, and that they will continue to do so.[6] When the law finally passed with only minor modifications, the Moderate Youth League took part in the demonstrations outside the Riksdag building.[7]

Niklas Wykman has on his blog stated that he cannot be a member of a party that supports the idea of wiretapping the communication of all Swedes, but that all hope is not lost.[8] His post does however end on a rather somber note, stating that "by next spring, you may be dancing around a radio tower" (instead of dancing around a maypole).[8]

Young Christian Democrats[edit | edit source]

On June 16, 2008, the Young Christian Democrats (KDU) posted a news release to their website, declaring that the so-called FRA law threatens personal privacy and individual freedom, and their intent to supply all Christian Democrat MPs with a copy of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four to make them "wake up".[9] It was stated that the chairman of KDU, Charlie Weimers, would personally go to the Riksdag to hand out the books.[9] Weimers is cited as stating that "The proposition is not only a threat to privacy, but in the end also something that can put the principles of the free society at stake."[9]

Young Greens[edit | edit source]

On June 9, 2008, the Young Greens (whose mother party the Green Party is part of the parliament opposition), arranged a manifestation against the proposition (dubbing it "Lex Orwell") together with the Centre Party Youth, Young Christian Democrats, Liberal Youth and the Social Democratic Youth League.[10] Maria Ferm, one of the two spokespersons of the Young Greens, held a speech at the rally.[10]

On June 16, 2008, an opinion piece was published at SVT Opinion, which called for four "heroes", right-wing MPs that would vote against the proposition in parliament.[11][12] The opinion piece was signed by Maria Ferm, together with Niklas Wykman (chairman of the Moderate Youth League), Frida Johansson Metso (chairperson of Liberal Youth), Magnus Andersson (chairman of the Centre Party Youth), and Jytte Guteland (chairperson of the Social Democratic Youth League).[11][12] On the same day, Ferm compared the law to the American USA PATRIOT Act, repeated her hope that four right-wing MPs would vote no, and noted the power bloggers and the internet had exerted on the campaign against the proposition in her newsletter.[13]

After the proposition was rereffered on June 18, 2008, the Young Greens published a news release comparing the effects of the proposed legislation to setting up a surveillance society similar to that of Burma or China.[14] Both Jakop Dalunde (one of the two spokespersons of the Young Greens) and Maria Ferm was quoted criticizing the Alliance for Sweden for not listening to their own youth wings, all of which opposed the proposition.[14] Ferm was also quoted as stating that "The Greens are now the only liberals left in Swedish politics."[14]

The day after the proposition was finally passed, the Young Greens published another news release declaring that June 18, 2008 was a historic day for both Russia and Sweden: Russia passed group play in the UEFA European Football Championship for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union, something that Sweden usually is quite good at; and Sweden became world-leading in mass surveillance, something that Russia is usually better at.[15] Ferm also expressed her astonishment over Swedish liberals voting in favor of the proposition, "giving Sweden surveillance mechanisms that would have made Stalin envious".[15] On the same day, yet another news release was published, calling for the Liberal Youth to change their party affiliation from the Liberal People's Party to the Green Party.[16] "The latest vote in parliament shows the mile-wide distances between youth wing and mother party. LUF stands considerably closer to us Greens on issues of freedom and liberty", Jakop Dalunde (spokesperson of the Young Greens) was quoted as saying.[16]

Minority parties[edit | edit source]

Piratpartiet[edit | edit source]

The Pirate Party has protested against the law since it was first shown to the public. The party has by itself and together with other political youth organisations and non-political speakers spread the word about the proposition since when it was first introduced. It was only in the second quarter of 2008 that things started to gain momentum and the proposition got attention after the party leader Rickard Falkvinge at a rally in Stockholm publicly revealed a secret tape-recording with a former manager of the FRA who said that this type of signals interception was not subject to existing Swedish law, hence the need for legislation.[17]

Foreign parties[edit | edit source]

Green League (Finland)[edit | edit source]

The large majority of Finland's international telecommunication goes through Sweden. Green League requests that the Finnish government expresses its deep concerns to the Swedish government that the FRA law unreasonably threatens the privacy and information security of Finnish citizens and companies. The party also stated that Finnish citizens and companies need to be warned about the risks involving telecommunication and Sweden. Jyrki Kasvi stated that telecommunication that goes through Sweden should be encrypted, and raised the question whether Finland needs to set up new systems and completely bypass Sweden.[18]

Companies[edit | edit source]

Phonera[edit | edit source]

The Swedish telephone company and ISP Phonera has announced that it plans to develop and release a "wiretapping-proof" encryption service before the end of 2008.[19] [20] The FRA law mandates making cross-border phone calls and data traffic available for interception, but not revealing customers' traffic.

In 2012 no information, regarding any development or release of a "wiretapping-proof" service, is found in the Phonera Website.

Bahnhof[edit | edit source]

ISP Bahnhof has announced that it has no intention of complying with the law.[20]

TeliaSonera[edit | edit source]

Telephone companies in Finland have expressed their worry about the law, as it will make it illegal for them to deliver international telephone conversations via the Swedish networks.[21] Due to this, Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera has, as of June 5, 2008, moved their Sonera (Finnish) e-mail servers out of Sweden, as Finnish law requires communication to be confidential. They have also transferred Swedish customers from Finnish to Swedish servers, to prevent Sweden-to-Sweden e-mail from crossing the border.

Juha-Pekka Weckström, Senior Vice President of TeliaSonera Broadband Services Finland stated:

We decided to move Sonera's e-mail services back to Finland in order to protect the privacy of our Finnish customers. After the migration, e-mails sent from one Finnish Sonera user to another will not cross Finland's borders at any stage.[22]

Other organizations[edit | edit source]

The Pirate Bay[edit | edit source]

Peter Sunde, co-founder of the Swedish BitTorrent tracker The Pirate Bay, has announced that the site will work against wiretapping with both technical and political means.[23]

Electronic Frontier Foundation[edit | edit source]

Danny O'Brien, from the international internet organization Electronic Frontier Foundation said on his blog:

Sweden is a part of the European Union: a community of states which places a strong emphasis on the values of privacy, proportionality, and the mutual defence of those values by its members. But even as the EU aspires to being a closer, borderless community, it seems Sweden is determined to set its spies on every entry and exit to Sweden. When the citizens of the EU talk to their Swedish colleagues, what happens to their private communications then?[24]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "CUF vill ha mer integritet, inte mindre" (in Swedish). CUF. 2008-06-13. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20080627134250/http://cuf.se/News.aspx?ID=1071. Retrieved 2008-06-24. "Vi önskar fortfarande att lagen hade fallit, inget annat är okej ur vårt perspektiv." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "FRA är hotet" (in Swedish). LUF. 2008-06-10. Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080616052644/http://www.luf.se/p32454/p32454_swe.php?article=972. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 ""FRA-hjältar" hjälper FRA" (in Swedish). LUF. 2008-06-18. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20080626211744/http://luf.se/index.php?show=32454_SWE&article=978. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "luf-heroes" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Camilla är vår Zlatan!" (in Swedish). LUF. 2008-06-19. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20080626211749/http://luf.se/index.php?show=32454_SWE&article=981. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Stenlund, Gustaf (2008-06-12). "Unga moderater måste rösta nej till FRA" (in Swedish). MUF. http://muf.se/?use=article&cmd=view&id=1227. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Stenlund, Gustaf (2008-06-17). "MUF lovar fortsatt kamp mot FRA" (in Swedish). MUF. http://muf.se/?use=article&cmd=view&id=1230. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  7. Rådén, Lars (2008-06-18). "MUF demonsterar mot FRA" (in Swedish). MUF. http://muf.se/?use=article&cmd=view&id=1231. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wykman, Niklas (2008-06-20). "FRA-moderaterna saknar mitt långsiktiga stöd" (in Swedish). http://muf.se/niklas_blog/wordpress/?p=220. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Weimers, Charlie; Westberg, Simon (2008-06-16). "KDU skänker "1984" till kd-ledamöter" (in Swedish). KDU. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20080618053642/http://www.kdu.se/PressOchMedia/Pressmeddelanden/fra.aspx. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Ungdomsförbunden enas mot avlyssningslag" (in Swedish). GU. 2008-06-09. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2258. Retrieved 2008-06-24. [dead link]
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Ungdomsförbunden: Ge oss fyra hjältar att hylla på onsdag" (in Swedish). SVT. 2008-06-16. http://svt.se/svt/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?a=1172873. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Ungdomsförbunden: Ge oss fyra hjältar att hylla på onsdag" (in Swedish). GU. 2008-06-16. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2263. Retrieved 2008-06-24. [dead link]
  13. Ferm, Maria (2008-06-16). "Stoppa FRA-lagen - Gör som oss gröna och rösta nej!" (in Swedish). GU. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2264. Retrieved 2008-06-24. [dead link]
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "De Gröna är Sveriges enda liberaler" (in Swedish). GU. 2008-06-18. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2268. Retrieved 2008-06-25. [dead link]
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Ryssland slår Sverige i fotboll och integritetsskydd" (in Swedish). GU. 2008-06-19. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2269. Retrieved 2008-06-25. [dead link]
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Grön Ungdom: Byt moderparti LUF!" (in Swedish). GU. 2008-06-19. http://www.gronungdom.se/article/2270. Retrieved 2008-06-25. [dead link]
  17. "Anders Wik, överdirektör för FRA, berättar...". Rick Falkvinge. http://rickfalkvinge.se/2008/05/31/anders-wik-overdirektor-for-fra-berattar. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  18. "Vihreät: Suomalaisia varoitettava Ruotsin tietoturvariskeistä" (in Finnish). MTV3. http://www.mtv3.fi/uutiset/kotimaa.shtml/arkistot/kotimaa/2008/09/706612. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  19. "Phonera lanserar krypterat och avlyssningssäkrat Internet" (in Swedish) (pdf) (Press release). Phonera AB. 2008-06-25. http://feed.ne.cision.com/wpyfs/00/00/00/00/00/0C/B0/32/wkr0003.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-20. "Phonera har beslutat att bygga ett helt krypterat nät för Internettrafik till kunder med krav på 100% avlyssningssäkrad Internettrafik." 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Lahdensivu, Mika (2008-06-26). "Ruotsalaisoperaattori virittelee salakuuntelusuojaa" (in Finnish). Digitoday. http://www.digitoday.fi/tietoturva/2008/06/26/Ruotsalaisoperaattori+virittelee+salakuuntelusuojaa/200817122/66. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  21. Winiger, Stefan. "Finland tveksamt till avlyssningslag" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/ekot/artikel.asp?Artikel=1242136. Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
  22. "Sonera moves its customers’ e-mails to Finland". http://www.teliasonera.com/press/pressreleases/item.page?prs.itemId=342094. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  23. Nokso-Koivisto, Hannu (2008-06-23). "Pirate Bay to take action against Swedish wiretapping law (Pirate Bay ryhtyy toimiin Ruotsin salakuuntelulakia vastaan)" (in Finnish). Digitoday. http://www.digitoday.fi/tietoturva/2008/06/23/Pirate+Bay+ryhtyy+toimiin+Ruotsin+salakuuntelulakia+vastaan/200816823/66. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  24. O'Brien, Danny. "Sweden and the Borders of the Surveillance State". http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/06/sweden-and-borders-surveillance-state. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
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