Justice minister wants more internet monitoring http://www.thelocal.ch/688/20110728/
Published: 28 Jul 2011 14:04 GMT+1
Updated: 28 Jul 2011 12:31 GMT+1
Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga wants to
expand the government's ability to monitor people's online activities.
The plans have been harshly criticized by other politicians and the
Sommaruga would like to amend Switzerland's Post and Telephone Monitoring Act (VÜPF), according to the Thursday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger
newspaper. The act allows authorities to listen in on telephone
conversations and e-mail communications when the government feels it is
But if the justice minister has her way, telecoms
companies and internet service providers would be able, if asked by the
government, to follow all the online activities of a suspected person in
real time, meaning they could virtually look over someone's shoulder as
he or she chatted online, performed a Google search or watched a video
In the wake of the killings in Norway, several
European governments have expressed the desire to toughen up their own
Internet surveillance rules. But in the Swiss case, Sommaruga unveiled
her plan in June, weeks before Anders Behring Breivik massacred around
76 mostly young people.
The plans have been met with widespread
condemnation and critics say it is unclear under what circumstances the
government would be authorized to start closely monitoring a person's
"This decree massively expands surveillance
capabilities but doesn't say a word about privacy protection," Andreas
Hugi, spokesman of the ICT Internet and telecoms association, told the Tages-Anzeiger.
Politicians have expressed concerns that Sommaruga wants to amend the law by decree, thereby bypassing parliament and debate.
"Sommaruga's methods here are extremely
questionable from a constitutional perspective," FDP politician Ruedi
Noser said, adding that parliament had recently spoken out against
increasing the government's internet monitoring ability.
In 2009, the Swiss parliament rejected a government
drive to toughen up monitoring rules, saying it violated the
constitution. Then, in 2010, a new amendment plan put forward by Bern
was met with a hailstorm of criticism.
In: Regional News
Tags: switzerland, free speech, censorship, internet monitoring, phone monitoring, spying, freedom, fail
Location: Switzerland (load item map)
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