Swiss intelligence agency given greater surveillance powers

Swiss voters on Sunday gave their national intelligence service greater powers to spy on terrorist suspects and cyber criminals.

In Switzerland, where privacy is considered an important right, the intelligence service currently has to rely on information from public sources and from other authorities.

Some 65.5 per cent of the 5 million Swiss voters approved the bill in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Europe, according to the final results.

The bill, due to go into force on September 1 next year, would allow agents to tap phones and computer networks under certain conditions.

Left-wing political groups have warned that the law would violate citizens' privacy, and that it would undermine Switzerland's neutrality as the secret service would also be allowed to cooperate with foreign agencies.

Citizens cast their ballots on two additional referenda on Sunday.

They rejected a Green Party plan for a sustainable economic model to be established by 2050, with 63.6 per cent voting against. They also rejected a proposal to raise government pensions by 10 per cent, with 59.4 per cent against.

Last update: Sun, 25/09/2016 - 18:17


More from Europe

Merkel not watching Trump inauguration as US-German business warns

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany warned incoming US president Donald Trump on Friday against leading the...

Report: Eight survivors, two children found in Italy hotel

Italian rescuers located a total of eight survivors, including two girls, at a central Italian hotel that was...

Poroshenko's chocolate factory in western Russia to end production

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's eponymous Roshen chocolate factory in the Lipetsk region of western Russia...

Swedish population tops 10 million

The population of Sweden officially hit the 10-million mark on Friday, Statistics Sweden said, citing a rise in...

EU parliament rejects money laundering blacklist for being too short

European Union lawmakers Thursday rejected a blacklist compiled by the European Commission of countries deemed to be...