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Parliament rejects phone tapping bill

The government will have to draft new proposals on internal security following parliament's rejection of a series of amendments.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday followed the Senate in refusing to extend phone tapping and the surveillance of mail and telecommunications to combat terrorism, intelligence operations and the illegal arms trade.

Parliamentarians called on the government to re-examine legislation to ensure the private sphere of citizens as well as freedom of information.

Defence Minister Ueli Maurer acknowledged that improvements were necessary to balance the interests of terrorism prevention and the right to privacy.

He also said the new draft would aim to put Swiss security forces on par with those in other European countries.

The domestic intelligence service was recently transferred to the defence ministry which is also in charge of foreign intelligence gathering.

swissinfo with agencies

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