Switzerland decides on stricter anti-terror laws

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Today Swiss voters will decide on a new law aimed to strengthen the counterintelligence abilities of secret services to counter threats posed by spies, criminal hackers and terrorists.

After Federal Assembly passed law a year ago, but not enacted opponents said that new regulations will deplete civil liberties. Proponents are convinced that Switzerland needs measures to catch up with other countries that have far stronger arsenals against espionage, cyber-crime and terrorism.

Under the law the intelligence service of Switzerland will be allowed to tap phones, read the postal and electronic mail, and deploy concealed cameras and microphones to monitor suspects – but only if authorised by administrative tribunal and federal counsellors who have oversight.

Intelligence services can only rely on the publicly available information to tips from foreign officials during surveillance procedures.

According to poll by the gfs.bern agency slightly more than half of Swiss voters supports stronger measures and over-one-third opposes.

(pht/AP)

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