The Swedish government is doubling down on the court-banned and hated data retention surveillance. As a Western first, they’re also planning to introduce VPN surveillance, taking a page out of Russia’s and China’s oppression playbooks, and are mandating that the Internet be built not to optimize speed and throughput, but to optimize governmental surveillance. This is according to a leaked law proposal, which has been obtained by the Swedish internet provider Bahnhof.
Sweden was one of the latecomers to the sparse group of European states who did data retention, mandating it at the state level when it had practically already been banned by the European Courts, incredulously with the mantra “we’re forced to by the European Union”. The Swedish government introduced the hated, ineffective, and expensive practice as late as 2010, several years after the German Constitutional Court had declared it fundamentally incompatible with human rights at the conceptual level, but before the European Court of Justice had reiterated the German verdict.
Data Retention is the practice of putting everybody under criminal surveillance before they’re suspects of any crime, on the odd chance that they should become suspects of a crime at a later time, and therefore revokes all privacy rights wholesale from an innocent populace. The European courts recognized this for what it was, wholesale abolition of privacy, and basically says “this practice is so illegal it’s not enough to say that it’s cancelled as of now; we rule it to be so illegal that it has retroactively never been in force”. The European Court of Justice – the European Supreme Court – was ridiculously clear on this point, that it was the very concept of pre-emptive mass surveillance that was the problem: “The member states may not impose a general obligation to retain data on providers on communications