Privacy groups will go to court if parliament can’t debate phone tap law changes


An alliance of privacy lobby groups and lawyers say they will take the government to court unless changes to the new law on phone and internet tapping are first discussed in parliament.

The law is due to come into effect on May 1, but the lobby groups say that both houses of parliament should first have their say.

The bill has already been passed in parliament but ministers agreed to make changes after last month’s ‘no’ vote in a referendum.

Although home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren said she wanted to do justice to the result by making some changes to the new rules, critics say they are largely cosmetic.

Among the changes made: the lengthy of time that ‘tapped’ information can be kept will be reduced from three to one year, with two extensions of one year each. In addition, the security services must now take account of the democratic rule of law in countries where they wish to exchange information.

Ton Siedsma of privacy lobby group Bits of Freedom said in a press release: ‘Of course you can’t put a law into practice without giving parliament the opportunity to improve it. That is why we want the courts to delay implementing the law until the amendments are definitive.’

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