Swedish Police Checks Passengers Computers

Swedish veteran Asia reporter Bertil Lintner had his computers and mobile phone taken away and investigated when he arrived at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Sweden last week on 23 march along with 28 other passengers arriving from Thailand.
 Bertil Lintner will launch a complaint with the Ombudsmand of the Swedish Ministry of Justice over the incident.
 In an interview with Radio Sweden, Bertil Lintner explains that the officers they took his and other passengers electronic equipment into a separate room where he could not see what was done to his equipment. It all lasted one hour.
 He was told the action aimed at checking for possible IT crimes.
 Lintner’s concern was not least the protection of his sources.
 “I receive material from highly confidential sources. I have to protect my sources.
 According to the news report, the operation was a joint action by the Swedish national crime  suppression agency, the immigration police and the customs department. The action aimed at revealing potential pedophiles. A total of 28 passengers from a total of five planes were targeted.
 According to the report, similar actions take place at unscheduled intervals once a month.
 According to the rules, passengers have the right to be present when their belongs are checked for smuggling undeclared goods.
 Mikael Lindgren, head of operations of the customs department in Stockholm explained in the news report that it is only when possible that the passenger should be present during the examination.
 “In the actual case it was not practically possible to be present during the IT forensic part,” he said.
 The reporter asks how it is then possible to ensure that nothing is copied and the answer is “you have to trust the authorities involved.”
 Mikael Lindgren welcomes Bertil Lintner’s complaint to the Ombudsmand.
 “It is very good to get a clarification of where the limits are,” he said.

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