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(MSNBC)-Gov't says fraction of e-mail will be affected, but critics are skeptical
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Sweden's government presented a contentious plan Thursday to allow a defense intelligence agency to monitor — without a court order — e-mail traffic and phone calls crossing the nation's borders.
The government insists only a fraction of the electronic communications will be affected, but critics worry the program, designed to combat terrorism and other threats to national security, is too far-reaching.
Their concerns resemble criticism of a U.S. surveillance program launched in 2001 that monitors international phone calls and e-mails to or from the United States involving people suspected by the government of having terrorist links.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the National Security Agency last year on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the project has made it difficult
for them to do their jobs because they believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the surveillance.
The Swedish proposal, which needs parliamentary approval, would give the National Defence Radio Establishment a green-light to use so-called data mining software to search for sensitive keywords in all phone and e-mail communication passing through cables or wires across the country's borders.