Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ringholm incident: is the police "too lazy" to bring TV4 to court?

[Up-dated] The Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Bo Ringholm is everywhere in the news today. The reason is that he did not switch off his phone after an interview about illegal gambling with one of the major Swedish TV-stations, TV4. The TV-station continued to tape what was being said, and after he the thought he had hung up, the Deputy Prime Minister continued to talk to his press secretary. He then called one policeman “an idiot” and he said that the police is “so damn lazy”.

Naturally, no individual or the entire police force for that matter deserves to be called things like that, and the Deputy Prime Minister has apologized (and rightly so). However, as far as I know it is illegal to tape an interview without the person in question confirming that it is ok?! The Deputy Prime Minister did for sure not agree to the last part of the “interview” being taped – he thought that the phone call was over! And according to Swedish law and as far as I know, this is a crime that sorts under the category public prosecution, which normally leads to prison, and such crimes always ought to be reported, according to the law. So I hope the police will bring TV4 to court, because they know of the crime, and I take it they are not “that damn lazy”? :-)
[It seems like it is ok/legal to record also the last part of the interview, even though I heard another point of view this morning. It would have been a funny story though if TV4 ended up in court…]


Anonymous Anna S said...

It's refreshing when someone speaks his mind…(really clumsy though).

20/9/05 11:02  
Blogger Mats Hilli said...

There's no excuse for a statement like this. I think it tells the public a lot about the politician Bosse Ringholm and on what sort of a level his personal judgement is on. I'm not defending TV4, but I will also not defend incompetence and bad judgement.

20/9/05 13:10  
Blogger mike d said...

C'mon Eric... I don't know how Swedish wire-tapping laws work, but if they're anything like they are in the US, if the Dep. PM agreed to having his phone conversation taped, the radio station did nothing illegal by taping the conversation.

It's a little disingenuous to hold the radio station at fault if the Dep. PM is "that damn lazy" that he can't figure out how to turn his phone off...

20/9/05 17:34  
Blogger Eric Sundström said...

Yeah, it seems like that is the case (asked a friend in the Gov Offices); the journalist was just smart to hang on and tape the converstion, and the Deputy PM should really make sure to turn off the phone next time. How is Florida, Mike?

20/9/05 18:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Eric,
according to Sweidsh law, it is legal to record as long as one person knows there is a recording going along.
If there is an external person recording, and none of the particpants know that it is happening: now that is when you aer talking about tapping and bugging. But that is not the case
this time.


20/9/05 21:24  
Blogger Anna, Fair and True said...

There was an article on this in the paper this morning. Turns out it may be illegal after all since he didn't know he was being taped. If he didn't know the phone was off the hook, how would he have known he was being recorded?

21/9/05 13:09  

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