Sweden – Fighting Back Against the FRA Law

They are mad that the law was passed and they are not taking it anymore. Many who were vocal about the warrentless wiretapping law passing are now taking steps to strike the law down any way possible.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

We have been following the dramatic events unfolding in Sweden for some time now. The news of the FRA warrentless wiretapping law in the English speaking media started off with a whisper back on the 6th of this month. As more and more people found out about the law, the media attention grew. On the 9th, we reported on The Pirate Bay, one of the worlds largest BitTorrent trackers, joining calls to stop the legislation in its tracks. Just a day later, there was even suspicion that the FRA had already begun their wiretapping program without parliamentary approval. The day of the actual vote proved to make news extremely fast paced yesterday with major protests at the Swedish parliamentary buildings to the ultimate passage of the bill in spite of the fierce opposition. Early this morning, we even caught up with the administrators of The Pirate Bay who slammed the legislation, calling it undemocratic. from our previous report:

“The government essentially couped the voting.” Sunde told ZeroPaid, “They did every undemocratic thing they could to pass the law. And they still try to fool the people that this is about external threats although there is no way this system could be used for that. We’re not happy about it and we will continue fighting against it, but in different ways.”

We figured that they are far from alone and it quickly turned out to be true. The Local, a Swedish news site in English is now reporting that the Pirate Party of Sweden, who nearly won a seat in parliament in the previous election, is now taking the FRA case right to the European Court of Human Rights. The idea is to get the law overturned because, according to the Pirate Party, this new law was a breach of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

From the report:

“The European Convention is built into the Swedish constitution, and the new law goes way beyond what is permitted under Article 8,” he said.

Christian Engström said he was in little doubt as to the eventual outcome of a court battle.

“I’m confident Sweden will lose the case, but the process is likely to take a long time.

“For now the most important thing is to ensure people remain angry about this.” he said.

With the FRA legislation taking effect in the new year, it’ll be interesting to see how much of a gap this will allow for the warrentless wiretapping to take place before the courts see this case.

On the Pirate Party website, they called the legislation, echoing the words of the administrators of The Pirate Bay, a coup (Google translation) From their press release:

Now, the next step is a massive dose of civil disobedience from the telecommunications and internetoperatörerna, which should simply refuse to comply with the law, as internetoperatören Bahnhof already announced. Moreover, we are going to take this to the European Court of Human Rights, concludes Falkvinge.

It seems that this isn’t the only way the Swedish are fighting back. Wikipedia has documented a recorded conversation with Anders Wik, a then employee for the FRA suggesting that the wiretapping was going on ahead without parliamentary approval.

Original MP3 (Swedish – no known translations of this at this time)

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

2 Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: