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Lex Orwell: No for Now

157 MPs kicked it back to committee, 2 MPs file formal complaint.

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STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) -- The cabinet 'Lex Orwell' proposal was booted out. At least for now. With a resounding 157 opposing votes Lex Orwell's been sent back to committee and further referrals.

Further: the Left Party have now filed a formal complaint with the powerful konstitutionsutskottet ('constitutional committee') accusing the government of mismanaging the affair and jeopardising civil rights.

It's a victory - at least for now - for the opposition and a severe blow for the Reinfeldt government.

Only Needed 1/3

The opposition only needed 1/3 of the MPs with them to kick Lex Orwell back to the defence committee. They got more than that. They got a walloping 157 votes - 45% or nearly half.

But because the defence committee have already said they like the law as it stands this further work could be finished soon. The committee already began polishing the paragraphs yesterday afternoon.

The defence committee will be convened after the parliamentary debate which is expected to conclude at approximately 13:00 local time. A new proposal is expected already this afternoon or later this evening.

Changes to Lex Orwell include bringing in Datainspektionen (the data inspection board) to oversee the activities of FRA from the perspective of personal integrity until 2011.

At the same time a parliamentary committee will also oversee FRA and may further appoint an 'integrity ombudsman'.

Thousands Protest

Thousands of concerned Swedish bloggers, journalists, and citizens gathered outside the house of parliament today to protest Lex Orwell. People carried placards with references to George Orwell's famous novel '1984' and the east German Stasi. 'Stop the FRA!' they chanted.

'Today's the day integrity dies', said one demonstrator.

KU Complaint

The Left Party have also filed a formal complaint with the powerful constitutional committee. The party want the KU to study the proposal and possible conflicts with fundamental civil rights.

The complaint was filed by Alice Åström och Marianne Berg.

The right to respect for one's private life is a human right and a prerequisite for democracy. As regards the consideration of proposal 2006/07:63 the Left Party can establish the fact there are significant shortcomings in the analysis of the cabinet as to what the proposal means for personal integrity and protection of civil rights. These shortcomings would make Sweden one of the countries where citizens are subjected to the highest levels of surveillance. We request a review of the consideration and whether the proposal is in accordance with - foremost - 2:1-3 of regeringsformen (a constitutional law).

Freedom of information - so that citizens incur no risk in reporting to journalists - is a precondition in a democracy as is protecting the news sources themselves.

We demand a review of the consideration and whether the proposal is in accordance with freedom of information and protection of sources in accordance with TF (tryckfrihetsfördningen) 1:1 as well as YGL (yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen) 1:2.

Marianne Berg riksdagsledamot (v)
Alice Åström riksdagsledamot (v)

See Also
Radsoft News: To the Vote
Radsoft News: Lex Orwell & Intent
Radsoft News: 'I Have To Be Able to Look Myself in the Eyes'

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