Description how the Swedish Defence Radio Authority (FRA, Swedish Försvarets radioanstalt) collects and processes communication.

The FRA law (FRA-lagen in Swedish) is a Swedish legislative package that authorizes the Swedish state to warrantlessly wiretap all telephone and Internet traffic that crosses Sweden's borders. It was passed by the Parliament of Sweden on June 18, 2008, by a vote of 143 to 138 (with one delegate abstaining and 67 delegates not present)[1] and took effect on January 1, 2009.

In more detail, "FRA-law" is the common name for a new law as well as several modifications to existing laws, formally called Government proposal 2006/07:63 – Changes to defence intelligence activities (Swedish proposition 2006/07:63 – En anpassad försvarsunderrättelseverksamhet). It was introduced as anti-terrorism legislation, and gives the government agency Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA, Swedish Försvarets radioanstalt) the right to conduct signals intelligence on - to intercept - all internet exchange points that exchange traffic that crosses Swedish borders, though experts argue that it is impossible to differentiate between international traffic and traffic between Swedes.[2]

News reports from Sweden's state broadcast network[3] and other sources[4] report that FRA have in fact been conducting eavesdropping on Swedish citizens for a decade. According to the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment's Director-General, Ingvar Åkesson, they destroy the data collected after eighteen months, but they confirm that they have, in fact, been collecting information not just on foreigners but also on Swedes as the presence of Swedish search terms used on the data would indicate.

Protests and criticism[edit | edit source]

Main article: Criticism of the FRA law
File:Anti fra demonstration stockholm 080618.jpg

Protest against the law in Stockholm.

The law has met protests and opposition all across the Swedish political landscape, with even the youth organisations of the parties in the ruling government coalition being against it. Practically all major newspapers have spoken out against the law, along with lobbying organisations such as the Swedish Union of Journalists and the Swedish Bar Association. Telecom and internet companies such as Google, Bahnhof and TeliaSonera shun the law, and there is concern that the law may repel foreign investment in Sweden. The law may result in Sweden being tried by European Court of Human Rights.[5] Protests and rallies are regularly held in the capital Stockholm and in other major cities.[6] The Danish National Church have stated they are worried about the law, and a politician of the Danish Socialist People's Party wants the Danish government to send an official protest to Fredrik Reinfeldt, prime minister of Sweden.[citation needed] The Finnish government has already done so.[citation needed]

On August 8, 2008 Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that a recent poll suggests 51% of the Swedes are opposed to the law[7], as compared to 47% in June 2008. It also claims that the trust in Sweden's prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, might be in danger.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

de:FRA-Gesetz no:FRA-loven sv:FRA-lagen

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