Sweden: Cybersecurity Law Overview – April 2017

Last Updated: 28 July 2017
Article by Erica Wiking Hager and Carolina Dackö


The following cybersecurity overview covers six jurisdictions (the US, the EU, Germany, France, Australia and Mexico). For the purpose of this overview, the term cybersecurity refers to the protection of networks, hardware, software and data from attacks, damage or unauthorised access ("attacks").

Cybersecurity legislation is under development in most countries and is generally scattered over different areas of law. We have grouped these laws into the following categories.

  1. Domestic law security requirements: These types of legislation impose requirements on public authorities and private operators in civil society to ensure that they have security measures in place to prevent attacks. These often impose minimum standards to protect public service functions (essential services or critical infrastructure) against cyber threats (e.g. water, hospitals, banking). Also, cybersecurity rules in relation to data privacy belong to this group.
  2. Protecting national security interests: These types of laws fall under or are closely netted to national defence interest, and aim at preserving a state's national integrity by preventing e.g. state-sponsored espionage.1 These types of laws may therefore override open market principles,2 and restrict foreign investors from acquiring domestic businesses, or may restrict foreign suppliers from tendering in critical infrastructure projects. They may also restrict exports and supply of critical security technology to prevent dissemination of security.
  3. Criminalisation of certain cyber activity: These laws aim at criminalising specific acts committed mainly by digital or electronic means ("cybercrime") and acts for which there is a clear corresponding criminal act when committed physically ("cyber-enabled crime"). For example, burglary or theft is comparable in the cyber world with illegal hacking, interception and theft of data. Many countries have or are implementing the international agreement on what is deemed to constitute cyber-enabled crime (the Budapest Convention3).

Key observations and trends

We would like to highlight the following observations and trends:

  • Domestic law security requirements are evolving and often spring from national cybersecurity strategies. Not all countries adopt legislation ("hard law") but instead rely on the evolution of industry standards to set the level of actual security requirements ("soft law"). The lack of hard law does not necessarily mean a lack of cybersecurity measures. Australia appears to be putting substantial effort, similar to that of the EU and US, into cybersecurity, but doing so without legislation and relying more on soft law. However, in Mexico, the lack of legislation and lack of cybersecurity efforts, appears to have led to a heightened risk situation, and both legislation and enforcement appear to be needed.
  • Foreign investment review laws appear to be on the rise. The US already has a mechanism under CFIUS.4 In the EU, the EU Parliament has called on the European Commission to draw up common EU laws on foreign investment review.5 As some EU member states (e.g. France and Germany) already have such laws in place, whereas other do not (e.g. Sweden), industry should follow or engage in what elements the European Commission will consider when drafting such laws.
  • There is an important difference and possible tension between on the one hand, (a) domestic security requirements, and on the other hand (b) national security interest (e.g. foreign investment review). The first addresses the level of security a country or region aims at achieving, which is in principle neutral as regards operators and their nationality (as long as the supplier meets the requirements). The second type of measures are based on national security interests and would therefore logically be used to address perceived risks associated with operators from certain countries (their nationality).
  • National security interest policy goes beyond foreign investment review. The US has reportedly imposed and possibly revoked budgetary rules that required certain authorities to vet (request approval) from enforcement authorities when procuring information security systems.6 In 2012, both Australia and Germany blocked Huawei from tendering for certain network projects. In France, the supply of certain equipment which may be used for interception is prohibited, and supply may only be authorised by a specific governmental agency (ANSSI). Restrictions on who may supply to public authorities would have to be compatible with international trade law rules, but the trend may be that other countries could consider such restrictions if they detect or suspect cyberattacks associated with foreign suppliers.
  • Recently, one country (the US) used economic sanctions as a tool to signal resistance against cybersecurity threats.7 Whereas the reason in that case was political (interference with elections), economic sanctions could potentially be used as a tool to ban operators allegedly involved in industrial cyber-theft or other security concerns.8 Also, the use of export control enforcement could become a method of blocking specific operators from trade. In March 2017, ZTE entered into a large settlement agreement for exporting sensitive US technology to Iran, which reportedly jeopardised US national security.9 Thus, imposing sanctions and enforcing export control rules could, following the US example, possibly be used by countries as tools to address national interest concerns to target specific operators, instead of basing the measure on the operator's nationality (as with the Huawei example in Australia and Germany cited above).

To read this Overview in full, please click here.


1. The concept of national security interest may be used in a broad sense to describe a nation's methods to preserve its sovereignty. Measures to protect national security may range from enhancing military power to ensuring supply of a country's basic needs (e.g. food and energy). For the purpose of this paper however, we apply the term national security interests to identify measures that target organisations or companies that are exposed to cybersecurity threats.

2. For instance the free trade principles on National Treatment under the WTO.

3. The Budapest Convention covers four categories of cybercrime: (1) offences against confidentiality of, integrity and availability of computer data and system (illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices), (2) computer-related offences (computer-related forgery and fraud), (3) content-related (child-pornography) and (4) infringement of copyright.

4. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, see further explanation below under the US summary.

5. The European Parliament recently submitted a request to the Commission to put forward a proposal for new rules (Proposal for a Union act on the Screening of Foreign Investment in Strategic Sectors).

6. See article from 2013 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cybersecurity-espionage-idUSBRE92Q18O20130327. Later, in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016, the language seems to require a self-assessment.

7. The case concerned Russian interference with US elections in 2016, and several Russian individuals are now listed by the Office of Foreign Asset Control ("OFAC") and therefore in principle subject to a US trade ban.

8. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2016/12/27/fc93ae12-c925-11e6-8bee-54e800ef2a63_story.html?utm_term=.8f4ed50103a9

9. https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/about-bis/newsroom/1659-zte-settlement-agreement-signed/file, and press release from the US Department of Justice,  https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/about-bis/newsroom/1659-zte-settlement-agreement-signed/file, and press release from the US Department of Justice, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/zte-corporation-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-over-4304-million-violating-us-sanctions-sending

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.