Amateurish secret police

2011-03-05 Saturday
A fairly recent law in Sweden authorizes Försvarets radioanstalt (FRA) – our equivalent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in USA – to monitor (among other things) data traffic crossing the border. Since the server hosting my web hotel is not placed in Sweden, this website is certainly passing through the FRA filters. Maybe also NSA crawlers are searching for signal words in this English section.

Anyway, the other day a curious thing occurred. All the pages on this site was momentarily visited exactly 20 minutes each, which has never happened before. Now, I’m not inclined to conspiracy theories, and will not claim or even suggest anything. But it brought to mind a 35 years old memory.

I then lived in Stockholm with a woman who worked at an office serving Swedish technical attaches, with Eastern Europe and Russia as her special responsibility. It was an highly official activity under the auspices of The Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences. But in those days even the most elevated connections with the communist countries was regarded, at least by the silly secret police, as something suspicious.

Consequently our telephone was tapped. Even such a simple thing was made in the most amateurish way with click sounds, tones and sometimes voices constantly disturbing our calls. What in the world they thought to achieve with that probably expensive activity challenged my imagination.

So, if NSA incidentally is listening: I’m a completely peaceful man, who never in my 70 years have physically hurt any living creature, human or animal (with the exception of insects and the like). The closest I have come to domestic violence is two instances many years ago. The first one was a woman (who had dumped me!) hitting me in the face, and the other a woman (whom I had dumped) threatening me with a knife. In both cases I just walked away.

Seriously though, we enjoy in this country an extensive freedom of expression. Even more so in the USA. We should always be grateful to the popular struggle which took us there, and to a system which keeps it that way. And thus try to resist any attempt by the powerful to undermine that right.

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