It has been reported that Sweden’s police force has been granted new powers this week, including the ability to deploy spyware on suspects’ devices to intercept encrypted communications and turn on microphones and cameras. Damberg said that granting police the legal and technical capabilities to intercept encrypted communications was a top priority, as they were being left behind by criminal groups who now often use services like Signal and WhatsApp to coordinate operations.
Lawful intercept has been a long debated issue and shows no signs of being resolved any time soon. It is encouraging to see there are limitations on when the police can use the intercept tools and restricted to serious crimes. However, ensuring the tools are used appropriately is the big challenge. Both from the perspective of ensuring law enforcement only use them for legitimate purposes, and more importantly, ensuring the tools do not fall into the hands of criminals.
The use of interception tools by law enforcement has been a strongly debated issue for a long time and poses many challenges. Most notably, ensuring that these tools are only used for legitimate purposes. If interception tools are going to be used by law enforcement then regulations need to be implemented, such as limitations on the types of crimes that can be investigated using these techniques.