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Secret wiretapping is increasing rapidly in Sweden but authorities say criminals are the target.

Friday, 10 June 2011
Swedish police continues to watch and listen to what its citizens do. If you are making phone calls in Sweden or even sending emails or texts, note that you might be watch, listen to or that your stuff is being read. But the authorities say that they are targeting criminals and that normal people need not worry as civil liberties remain the ultimate.

It is something that did not start today, police's secret wiretapping has just continues to grow strongly, according to the Swedish parliament’s communication department Riksdag & Departement.

Last year 2531 interception permits were granted, an increase of over 50 percent against the previous year when 1659 was approved.
 
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Only around one percent of the applications for eavesdropping were rejected by the court. In 76 percent of the cases of the interception, those listen to were suspected for drugs related offenses, according to a report from the National Police and Prosecution.

Klas Friberg, head of the National Police, says that those who are intercepted are usually people who belong to organized crime.

A majority of the authorizations for secret wiretapping has to do with investigations of drug offenses.
“In 2010, we had a number of large cases with many suspects involved. There are people who engage in serious crime and drugs  - a prominent topic for hardened criminals. It can also be serious violent crimes, armed robbery and so on. A case in point is how the method led to interception last year of the so-called helicopter robbers” he said.

The sharp increase in the number of authorized interception he explains in part has to do with countering the suspects from trying to dribble away the police which is a constantly methods used by criminals.

"Our drive against serious organized crime means that we have increased our activities in strategically important subjects. Another reason is that our suspect, increasingly frequently change phones, which means we need more decision, it's usually the same people, "said Klas Friberg.

He does not think ordinary people have to worry about the increased interception of telecommunications.
“Privacy issue is important for us also. The permits to wiretaps are taken from the court and I would argue that legal rights are heavily weighed when it comes to taking decisions in this type of case,” he said.
By Scancomark.se Team




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