Covert eavesdropping should be allowed more often: “Better technology now”

The government is moving forward with a number of proposals that increase the police’s opportunities for secret reconnaissance of criminal suspects. “This is something we are positive about,” says Minister of Justice Morgan Johansson (S).

The proposals were presented on Friday by government investigator Barbro Thorblad. They must now be sent out for consultation before a bill can become relevant.

One proposal means that the police will be allowed to use secret coercive measures against people suspected of serial crime, even if the crimes are less serious than what is required today.

For most types of crime today, it is required that the minimum sentence or the penalty value of the suspected crime amounts to at least two years for secret interception.

The Government’s investigators are now proposing that covert eavesdropping on mobile phones and other electronic communications should be permitted in the case of a serial crime, if the total penalty value of the crimes amounts to two years.

In real time

Today, the penalty value of each crime is assessed separately.

– It naturally creates problems, says investigator Barbro Thorblad.

One consequence of today’s rules is that covert eavesdropping can not be used in systematic crime consisting of, for example, several tax crimes, thefts or fraud. These are crimes that often constitute a source of income for criminal networks that engage in much more serious crime than that.

For secret interception today, it is required that there is someone who is a reasonable suspect. The inquiry proposes that the police in some should be allowed to use the surveillance method also to find a reasonable suspect.

– There is a need for this, because you usually know the phone number, but not who is talking, says Thorblad.

Secret surveillance of electronic communication means that the police monitor who is communicating with whom. If there is no reasonable suspect, this must not happen in real time today. The inquiry wants to allow that.

– Otherwise it will be very difficult to track complicated cybercrime, says Thorblad.

– It is important that Sweden in the end does not become the only country that does not have this opportunity to track and becomes a central country for this type of crime.

Better technology

The inquiry also proposes more types of crime than today for which secret coercive measures should always be used, regardless of the penalty value. These include sexual offenses against children, extortion, perjury and abuse of justice.

Secret coercive measures also include secret camera surveillance and secret room interception. Permits for these methods are today linked to a specific place, where a person is suspected of being able to stay.

The inquiry proposes that the permit, in some cases, should also be able to be linked only to a person. This makes it possible for the police to follow a person who is moving.

Linking the surveillance to one person has previously been considered to entail too great a risk that other people’s integrity will also be violated.

– But the technology is now much better, with drones, for example, you can ensure that it is the right person you are looking at, says Thorblad.

It is also proposed for covert camera surveillance and room tapping that the total penalty value for several crimes should be combined. However, the limit is higher than for covert eavesdropping, two and four years respectively.

Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by

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