September 25, 2016
Yesterday, on Sunday, Swiss voters decided with a 66.5 percent majority to give their own government more spying powers over their daily lives.
Last year, the country’s parliament passed a law that allowed its secret service, FIS (Federal Intelligence Service), more powers to snoop on emails, tap phones, or use hidden cameras and microphones.
Such technologies and investigative procedures are common practice in other countries, but they have been outlawed by the strict Swiss government.
The law, which the government argued it was needed after the devastating Paris ISIS attacks, was contested by privacy groups and the Swiss leftist political parties, which delayed its implementation and forced it into a country-wide referendum that took place this Sunday.
The Swiss population made their voice heard over the weekend and concerned with the ever-increasing threat from terrorist groups have voted to sacrifice some of their privacy for the sake of security.
Switzerland, next to Germany and the northern Scandinavian countries, has some of the strictest privacy laws in Europe. So much so that it took Google years to get permission to map out the country via its Street View service.