Source: The Local

Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga wants to expand the government’s ability to monitor people’s online activities. The plans have been harshly criticized by other politicians and the internet sector.

Sommaruga would like to amend Switzerland’s Post and Telephone Monitoring Act (VÜPF), according to the Thursday edition of the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. The act allows authorities to listen in on telephone conversations and e-mail communications when the government feels it is justified.

But if the justice minister has her way, telecoms companies and internet service providers would be able, if asked by the government, to follow all the online activities of a suspected person in real time, meaning they could virtually look over someone’s shoulder as he or she chatted online, performed a Google search or watched a video on YouTube.

In the wake of the killings in Norway, several European governments have expressed the desire to toughen up their own Internet surveillance rules. But in the Swiss case, Sommaruga unveiled her plan in June, weeks before Anders Behring Breivik massacred around 76 mostly young people.

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