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back to article Swedish spy agency sics lawyers on wiretap critic

Swedish spy authorities have taken legal action against a Brussels-based blogger who published a classified document purporting to prove they snooped on individual Swedes more than a decade ago. The country's National Defence Radio Establishment, which in Swedish translates into the acronym FRA, filed a complaint against Henrik …

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Someone was using my name for other posts, so I've changed mine

"crime against freedom of speech." ??

Surely they mean a crime FOR freedom of speech.

I always thought the swedes were supposed to be neutral in everything, asking no questions, telling no lies sort of thing, isn't that why Swedish bank accounts are so favored by those with something to hide?

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Anonymous Coward

It's your taxes and mine.

In the 63 years since WW2 ended, despite snooping that has probably gone on since before I was born, I can still run round the streets, (and I do, a lot,) , surf the net for filth, (and I do, a lot,) , criticise the government, (and I do, a lot,) Vista, and practically everyone else, and not once have I spent a night blindfolded in a cellar, bearing electrodes, as a result of my actions.

Neither have I been blown up by muslims, killed or converted by communists, nor invaded by russians, chinese or any manner of other one time or current enemies.

It is therefore with some regret that I have to conclude that all these spy type people are pretty successful on the whole at protecting my wife and kids, and pretty shit, (or at the very least, wildly disinterested,) in anything I, as an ordinary man, has to say or do.

I think if these men in black had anything against me they'd have let me know by the age of 40, and it's with no doubt whatsoever that I must conclude they're spending my taxes looking for people who might just be a teensy bit more dangerous than an old fat married man.

Am I therefore the only mule in Christendom that is fed up to the gunwales with leftie tw@ts who spend their life causing people paid by my taxes to protect the arses of my wife and kids, having to spend my f*cking money to stop them making a nuisance of themselves? Why don't they just throw the leftie currant into the North Sea?

Pray tell? Am I being a little too ambiguous, or should I be more explicit in my opinion?

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Black Helicopters

He should have published it in the US

Freedom of Speech is enshrined in our Constitution, which is why newspapers here publish classified documents with impunity. The New York Times published excerpts from the 14,000 page Top Secret report known as the Pentagon Papers,and the US Supreme Court on June 30, 1971 reaffirmed the New York Times right to publish. Nowadays, the courts would not even let a suit for publishing classified documents get started.

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Coat

@Skinny

You are thinking of the Swiss and Switzerland.

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@AC @Skinny

Quite right,

Oh, and if you want to hear some 'interesting' thoughts about Sweden ask in Copenhagen :)

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Coat

Why are we surprised?

I am not surprised that any government would be keeping tabs on citizens abroad or any business / political communications made. It must be known that it has been common practice fo a long while, for political reasons and in recent years for financial ones also.

The only issue is the breaking of the Zero-th commandment by the security agency involved, the one that states: "Thou shalt not get caught!"

Seems to me the Swedes are not worthy of trust in government security circles if they cannot keep their faxes to themselves. Lets hope the big three of the western governments take care what they tell the Swedes, lest it be blabbed to the world.

Last thing the world wants now is for everyone to find out how massively we are really being screwed!

(looking for the Dagger in my Cloak)

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Paris Hilton

"more dangerous than an old fat married man..."

It's not so much the MIB that you should worry about. It's the fact that once that info passes through their hands it gets stored someplace. Once it's stored someplace it's only a matter of time before others justify their need to access it and get that access. From there the circle only widens.

So rather than asking if you trust the spooks you should be asking if you trust every civil servant, political appointee, special investigator, etc. that could possibly cook up a reason to shuffle through those files at some point in the future. Do you then trust them to never abuse that information? Share it around the office for a laugh? Use it to make other political appointments? To Decide if you are a fit father who is responsible enough to raise children?

In America some would question the fitness of a father who admits to a porn habit and is routinely critical of legitimate authority.

On principle, democracies should permit as little as possible state spying on their own citizens. Access to this data should also be as highly restricted as is reasonable.

Paris because she has nothing left to hide.

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re: It's your taxes and mine.

Indeed sir, you are right!

And may i say sir, you sound a most intelligent sort, as such perhaps I might interest you in purchasing this charm that wards off attacks by lions. I can assure you it works, I've had it for more than 40 years and not once have I been mauled by a lion, if thats not proof of its potency i don't know what is!

*sigh*

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Anonymous Coward

@Why are we surprised? (Cos it was illegal perhaps?)

Surprised that it was done illegally without probable cause as required by Swedish law..... adds weight to the evidence that the FRA has been spying already before the law.

At least one of the men is suing, I bet te other 102 want to sue aswell. Plus the whole of Finland if that infiltration of Finland is true. Nice of Sweden to decide that Finland needs to be protected from left wing political groups don't you think?

I wonder how the Finnish feel about it?

http://www.thelocal.se/13280/20080725/

"Jörgen Larsson conducted business with Russia in the 1990s. He was under surveillance by the FRA during this time and until last week was completely unaware of the fact. Jörgen Larsson had never been suspected of any criminal offence - a legal requirement for invoking a bugging operation."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informationsbyr%C3%A5n

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Anonymous Coward

... It's your taxes and mine.

"Am I therefore the only mule in Christendom that is fed up to the gunwales with leftie tw@ts who spend their life causing people"

You are definitely not, good sir. There are many of us fed up with people who think instant access == right to do or say anything. And we'll laugh when they're surprised as controls are built around the Internet because the leftists couldn't display a smidgen of self-control.

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@AC

"Pray tell? Am I being a little too ambiguous"

No, just thick as shit in the neck of a bottle, twat-o-tron.

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Paris Hilton

re: AC and "It's your taxes and mine."

In the 63 years since WW2 ended, despite them being in the country since before I was born, I can still run round the streets, (and I do, a lot,) , surf the net for filth, (and I do, a lot,) , criticise the government, (and I do, a lot,) Vista, and practically everyone else, and not once have I been sat on by an elephant or eaten by a tiger.

It is therefore with some regret that I have to conclude that all these elephant and tiger trainer type people are pretty successful on the whole at protecting my wife and kids.

Thank goodness, eh?

Paris, because she's just as stupid.

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Coat

It's your taxes and mine.

They damn well ARE! and the less that is wasted on frivolous pursuit of people who do no practical harm, the better. My "practical harm" may be different to yours and that is the basis of democracy - I believe. A vocal crank may be far less dangerous than a silent sociopath.

That the "powers that be" have their fragile egos bruised by a taxpayer requesting that they be called to account is no excuse for an excessive opportunity cost at the taxpayers expense. Governments are the only effectively unlimited organisations as they have a monopoly on taxes until they're dismissed. The senior (in some cases Un-) civil servant rule on and must also be held to account.

Civil servants (& Politicians) - Know your Place! You've got the job because we've trusted you. Break that trust and you put at risk more than just an electoral defeat and a loss of pension.

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Heart

alt.swedish.spy.bork.bork.bork

someone's cooking something in the oven and it smells like something i left in the dunny. sure walks and talks like a US Duck.....America's blindingly perverse spy mentality is coming to light again via these guys it appears.....54th state anyone?

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Anonymous Coward

@Will Godfrey @AC @Skinny

Copenhagen you say, well the Norwegians, have always had an odd outlook on life.

I blame it on all the Snail scoffing.

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What makes spies more effective than other governemnt institutions?

Ending terrorism would reduce spy's budgets, just like preventing wars would reduce spending on weapons manufacturers. If spies are even vaguely competent, they will allow just enough explosions to justify their existence without doing anything to prevent a new supply of bombers. If they are not even vaguely competent, then why do they deserve my taxes?

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Flame

One hop away from Sweden

"I wonder how the Finnish feel about it?"

As a Finn whose e-mails, web traffic, phonecalls etc risks being snooped for no good reason whatsoever, I feel incredily pissed off.

I have actually plenty of things I'd like to write, but most of them are severely unpublishable, full of bile and anger.

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Wierd.

Apart from a penchent for assinating Prime Ministers Sweden is one of the most law abiding countries in the world.

It would be difficult to think of a country less threatned be the evils of global terrorism.

In the past when faced with a real threat e.g. "the muppet show" the government acted quickly and decisively by banning it from childrens TV.

I personally think we should admire the Swedish "intellegence" services for bravely volunteering to read every e-mail in a country where nothing actually happens. Its not as if there will be many jokes to read.

Someone should commision research into how many beetroot salad recipes a secret policeman can read before adding another notch to Swedens famous suicide statistics.

P.S. Everything I know about Sweden I learned form a Dane.

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Anonymous Coward

Thankyou

I was just about to jump down that guys throat, but I see I was beaten to it by a substantial margin.

oi ... stop shoving at the back, you'll get you turn.

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All snooping should be stopped

All wiretapping needs to be stopped since there are people in power who abuse the system. It should be made harder to get a warrent to wiretap now even though there are terrorists in our midst it is the governments who let them in..

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Not the first time

Swedish security services (SÄPO etc) have a long history of not doing The Right Thing unless bashed over the head with something heavy. Seems like it's time to do so again.

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Stop

Accidents waiting to happen?

What scares me with these types of legal incidents, and the resulting "Streisand effect", maybe next time they won't bother with the legal path. Accidents are easily arranged...

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Anonymous Coward

Gearing up and dumbing down

I was thinking about this the other night, do governments really fear terrorist attacks as much as they say, or is this in part a cover for something else. Now, I'm in no doubt that they are doing a lot of work keeping the terrorist threat as low as possible (mind you, if we hadn't entered the Iraq war, etc), and should be congratulated on that, but the more I see of the way our society has spiralled downwards into paranoia the more I think that there are other factors involved such as an innate desire for governments to control their citizens.

Governments are seemingly becoming less like representatives of the people and more like keepers in zoos; using all of the tools they have to keep their charges in line. I also think that this desire to control is not matched by their intelligence (Jacqui anyone?), and so they come up with a lot of ideas that look good but do little, or sound good but just won't work e.g. id cards, central database, getting your neighbours to spy on each other, fingerprinting kids and harassing photographers.

All the time they wait until people have become used to a certain level of control before either upping it, and dropping standards to save money. Upping control: you can now "reasonably" be quoted with the Anti-Terrorism Act for taking a photo of a police car http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/07/30/terror-law-quiz-over-cop-car-pic-115875-20676608/ . Lowering standards: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7523306.stm. Unfortunately what is happening in the UK is being mirrored by governments all over, and trust is going out the window.

Of course, it could just be me.

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@ Your taxes and mine

Unfortunately, you completely invalidated anything you might have to say by attempting to use the word 'leftist' as a pejorative. It's a classic sign of someone whose opinions go from Mail to mouth with no intervening thought process. You probably think Gordon Brown's a socialist.

If you want a National Health Service, you're a leftist.

Believe in free education for all children? You're a socialist.

Think everyone should have to pay taxes into a central pot to pay for services that everyone needs? Why don't you just change your name to Lenin while you're at it, you dirty commie bastard?

Now get back in your cab, you've got a pickup in Hammersmith.

@ Maurice

"Civil servants (& Politicians) - Know your Place! You've got the job because we've trusted you. "

Not strictly true - they got the job because we trusted the other candidates less.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's your taxes and mine.

"I think if these men in black had anything against me they'd have let me know by the age of 40, and it's with no doubt whatsoever that I must conclude they're spending my taxes looking for people who might just be a teensy bit more dangerous than an old fat married man."

That's right: keep your head down, eyes forward, don't make a fuss, don't question authority, don't take an active interest in politics or society, don't follow the money. Get in the way of the wrong people, however, and I'm pretty sure they'd find enough reason to go digging for dirt in the potentially extensive dossier they have on you.

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Coat

RE: Gearing up and dumbing down

"governments really fear terrorist attacks as much as they say"

I actually think that yes, they do. For various reason (loss of live not necessarily being top one). They know that if terrorist attack happens, the first question asked will be "what they did to prevent it". And they fear it, mightily.

Why then they are not spending monies on more effective protection schemes? Simple, it's "cover you ass" strategy which is inherent property of all burocreacy, which means that actual results do not matter. The papework does. And what is better source of all kinds of papers than snooping (and big government databases)?

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@Anonymous Coward

So send the emails to another box you control and fill them with insults for Swedish Security services. Judging by that Mosely case these people's families have some interesting hobbies so concentrate on small dicks and stuff. Odd reference to bombs and AQ is sure to get it read.

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Stop

What is the difference between the Mafia and Government

They both demand money, or else

one calls it a tax, the other protection money.

if you refuse one throws you in Jail or worse , the other might break your knees or worse.

Both create a type of peace, and stability

The main difference is that the state pretends to act in the interest of the people and define that what the Mafia does is Illegal.

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